11 Sep 2011

World Cup organisation failures unacceptable - McCully

5:47 am on 11 September 2011

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully says urgent steps are needed to prevent a recurrence of the transport and crowd issues that plagued Rugby World Cup celebrations in Auckland on Friday night.

An estimated 200,000 people swamped the inner city, several people were injured and police made 64 arrests.

Mr McCully says the event arrangements, especially along Quay Street, were unacceptable, and the problems need to be addressed quickly.

He has also expressed concern about the failure of the city's public transport systems, which caused 2000 people to miss the opening ceremony at Eden Park.

Veolia Transport says 60,000 people tried to board trains into the city on Friday night - double the expected number - for the official opening of the Cup and the first match at Eden Park.

It says delays were mainly caused by unruly passenger behaviour, including setting off fire extinguishers, pressing emergency stop buttons and walking on the railway tracks.

Assistant police commissioner Allan Boreham says some officers were aboard the trains, but the potential risk does not warrant extending that to all trains for future games.

Mr McCully has been in meetings with officials to ensure everything is fixed before the next game at Eden Park next weekend.

North Shore game runs smoothly

Police in Auckland say Saturday night's Rugby World Cup game at North Harbour Stadium, ran smoothly, in contrast to last Friday night's chaos in central Auckland.

Thousand's packed stadium on Auckland's North Shore to see the French take on Japan.

There was only slight traffic congestion and the decision by the nearby Westfield Mall in Albany to let people use their carpark for free, helped with parking.