15 Sep 2011

Auckland authorities must earn back confidence - minister

6:40 am on 15 September 2011

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says his full confidence in Auckland authorities will not be restored until they prove themselves and successfully run their part of the Rugby World Cup tournment.

The Auckland Council on Wednesday voted to accept recommendations on changes to public transport and event arrangements after chaos and overcrowding on the waterfront during Friday's opening ceremonies.

Mr Joyce says there will be more room on the waterfront, 100 more buses, and better security for the trains for Saturday night's match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park.

Mr Joyce is confident local body officials in Auckland now have the motivation to ensure there is no repeat of Friday night's problems.

He says everyone's confidence was dented by the failures of opening night, and that trust has to be earned back.

Mr Joyce says the Government is also urging people to take different modes of transport to Eden Park on Saturday, rather than relying only on public transport.

Bar owners unconvinced

Some bar owners in the heart of Auckland's party central say plans to extend the waterfront fan zone will not be enough to prevent out-of-control crowds.

Cowboys Bar at the Viaduct says extending the fan zone will just encourage more people to the waterfront.

Harbourside Seafood Bar & Grill on Queens Wharf was one of the bars that had to lock their doors to the public, after large numbers of young people wanted to use toilets, or get a better view.

Co-owner Jimmy Gerard says the event was poorly organised, and officials should have consulted with local businesses about crowd control.

Super city reform not to blame - Hide

The architect of the super-city reforms, Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, says the failures on opening night were down to individual planning, not the upheaval of the local authority changes.

Mr Hide says the current council structure has actually made it easier to remedy the problems, as there is only one mayor to deal with.

The eight Auckland councils were amalgamated into one in November 2010.