I thought the dancing cranes needed a bit more time to work on their routine (what was that about?) but overall the opening ceremony was an uplifting, flash, but not too over the top, start to the Rugby World Cup. In Auckland, and (even here in Wellington) it seems like the idea of waterfront party was just what was needed. The only problem was about 10x as many people showed up as there was room for in the city of sails. A good problem to have- that is unless you are stuck inside with a family. The big issue was that the transport system did not cope, despite assurances that it would. I know Len Brown has launched a review this morning, but it clearly wrecked a few nights which is a pity for what looked like such a festive occasion. Would be interesting to hear from anyone who was there, but in the meantime here are some interesting stories and views.
One small curiosity from the night. On Tuesday morning on Firstline on TV3 Rachel Smalley asks the Prime Minister at the end of her interview (relevant bit at 4.35) where he will be for the opening game of the Rugby World Cup, and will he be there “beer in hand”. Key says he will be there, laughing saying maybe not beer in hand, “although maybe I will, I don’t have to make any speeches that night.”
Except he did of course. Now that Opening Ceremony must have been set for months and months beforehand so surely he would have known, and Mr Key was quite definite he was not speaking. Odd. Perhaps it was an on the night decision, which seems extraordinarily casual for such a major and important event, but it might explain what was a pretty ordinary effort (not even a Kia Ora?) from the PM in front of a TV audience of millions.