22 Dec 2011

Govt linked to RWC opening night chaos

5:07 am on 22 December 2011

An evaluation of the Rugby World Cup has found the Government played a part in the opening night troubles in Auckland.

The report by Auckland Council says its own management of the event on 9 September could have been better, but the tournament was otherwise a success.

Overcrowding at the waterfront and the failure of several heavily-loaded trains on the opening night make up just a small part of the 250-page report.

The council says planning time was left critically short after the Government decided a year earlier to ditch plans for nationwide festivities.

The council says time was lost setting up management structures, partly involving the Government, which jointly owns Queens Wharf with the council.

The waterfront struggled to cope with an unexpected crowd of up to 150,000 people.

The report says future major events need to cater for up to 200,000 people and have better direct management.

Overall, the report found the Rugby World Cup was considered a success by most residents and visitors, but less than 9% of businesses felt they benefited.