RWC: Was It Worth It?


So it’s over. The All Blacks are world rugby champs beating France but only just!

Prime Minister John Key admires Webb Ellis RWC trophy | Copyright AKT

In the early days, some making comments on this site were unconvinced all the money and disruption were worth it.

It’s been a great thing for NZ.

How do you feel now?

Here are the Auckland stats:

  • Almost 750,000 fans attended RWC 2011 matches in the city (Eden Park and North Harbour Stadium)
  • 121,141 people walked the Fan Trail to Eden Park (More than triple the 33,000 originally projected)
  • More than 550,000 people travelled to and from matches by public transport
  • Almost 20,000 turned out to welcome teams at the airport, on marae and in Aotea Square
  • 13,600 people watched their teams at public training sessions
  • Approximately 150,000 children from 400 primary and intermediate schools participated in Auckland’s schools programme
  • Approximately 2000 volunteers delivered more than 150,000 volunteer work hours
  • 200,000 celebrated across the waterfront and CBD on Opening Night
  • More than 1 million people visited Queens Wharf
  • Regional Fanzones (Albany, Mangere and Henderson) hosted a total of 96,480 during the knock out stages of the Tournament.

An Horizon Poll out this week shows 66.6% of adult New Zealanders want to do it all again: they think New Zealand should bid to host another Rugby World Cup.

73% think the investment in the cup has been of value: 26.7% say it has been very worthwhile, 25.7% worthwhile and 20.8% somewhat worthwhile.  18.9% don’t think it’s been worthwhile, while 6.8% say they don’t know.

Among Auckland ratepayers, whose council has committed the most of any local body to the event, 74.1% think the investment has been worthwhile.

The blame game and controversy which followed the problems of managing a massive crowd at Auckland’s waterfront for the event’s opening has not dented approval of Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s performance in delivering the event.

Mr Brown scores a 38.5% good performance score (18.1% poor), while RWC Minister Murray McCully scores  28% good, 23.2% poor. Prime Minister John Key is given a 39.8% good performance rating, 34.1% poor.

The highest performance ratings go to the event’s volunteers (71.6% good), the opening event organisers (59.7%), fan zone organisers and staff (55.2%), the New Zealand Rugby Union (56.9%), wharf fan zone organiser Auckland 2011 and Eden Park management (both 48%), the Eden Park Redevelopment Board (42.8%) and Auckland Council (41.8%).

The poorest performance rating goes to Veolia, with 35.2% describing its performance as poor. It is closely followed by John Key (34.1%), and the International Rugby Board (32%).

Here are some other talking points to get it started:

The Good

  • NZ rugby can hold its head high again
  • People united as a country with a fun shared experience
  • Despite the much discussed booze culture, crowds at games behaved well and there were few arrests
  • Tourists came and discovered how beautiful NZ was
  • Kiwis celebrated and felt proud of shoeing off their country
  • We recognized there were many cultures that now make up NZ especially Auckland and people got tribal and visibly showed off their heritage
  • Much infrastructure improvement took place and some programmes were brought forward to make it happen
  • We had something else to talk about than bad news
  • Politicians mainly shut up and stopped their pathetic infighting

The Bad

  • Retail sector didn’t get the boost it expected
  • Regular services were often disrupted
  • Some officials exposed themselves at morons in organising events or estimating numbers
  • Auckland’s train services showed their limitations although thatw as no surprise to regulars
  • There was an unpleasant spat between The RWC Minister and the Council
  • The news media went overboard on rugby and  we slept through some of the big issues going on in the world such as the European financial crisis
  • Some families say they’ve spent their Christmas quota on RWC tickets and SKY TV  so won’t be spending up large at Christmas
  • Some Kiwis may go through post-RWC depression now they feel emptiness the tournament is over!






  1. Travis says:

    Absolutely worth it…… while it has come at a cost….It has brought joy to our nation after a year of distress and heartache.

    It has also been the catalyst for an enormous amount of infrastructure upgrade in both the public and private sector.

  2. Owen Thompson says:

    Total waste of taxpayers & ratepayers money that we will be paying for in decades to come.

  3. James says:

    If we don’t buy lotto tickets for a few weeks but spend it on repaying money lost ($39m) we wont be paying for years to come.
    I say it was worth it. Seeing everyone together and enjoying it is worth more then money can offer!
    Olympics anyone? (just kidding!)

  4. Matt L says:

    The thing that surprised me is how much people who weren’t interested in the cup got excited by it. Before the cup started my wife was completely negative about the whole thing and couldn’t wait for it to be over but after it started and the buzz got going she was really keen and ended up going to 3 games where she really enjoyed herself.

    The thing is she isn’t alone, I have talked to quite a few people who aren’t interested in rugby or the RWC but have really got into it.

    Personally the thing that I have enjoyed the most is the buzz that it brought to the city, it’s been vibrant and given us a taste of what it should be. My biggest hope is that we don’t just go back to where we were before, I would like to see us create something an annual event that we can all celebrate.

  5. Worth it indeed!!!

    The wider economic benefits are huge to the country, with the investment bringing in immediate and long term economic gain, the investment was well and truly worth it. (from a economic point of view)

    From a event point of view, country morale point of view just fantastic!!!

  6. Pete says:

    Love James Lotto idea !
    But seriously folks the businesses I deal with in peripheral areas and even in the CBD (not where the action was) have suffered mega inconvenience and loss. Watch and wait for the 30 and 60 day arrears nearer xmas before I get too excited.

  7. Ian says:

    I’d rather NZ had a world class football (soccer) team. When The Phoenix were at their best the stadium atmosphere was electric. Watching NZ rugby supporters go to a game is like watching unwilling conscripts moving up to the front.
    However good on the AB’s. It was a great game and either side would have deserved the win.
    Worth it to see the minor teams out in the small cities and towns treated like stars.

  8. Monn says:

    Check your attitude IAN !! Why are you even commenting on another code?? Obviously you weren’t there AT the game last night - it was more than electric and lets not take anything away from the boys in black - at the end of the day - we won the cup!

    Absolutely worth it - financially it will benefit tourism in years to come…. We are a rugby nation, end of story

  9. tbird says:

    Easily worth it. It’s been great for our country.

  10. Scott says:

    Yip, worth it.

    I don’t even care if the economic benefits stack up. (never thought I would say that) I just really enjoyed being part of it.

  11. wasp says:

    If this is what it takes to get infrastructure improvements for Auckland then bring on the Olympics or maybe a Commonwealth Games anyway.

    I can’t help but think the rate payer got taken for a ride by some contractors though.

    I only hope the care taken to improve such things as the rail network and rid it of the vandalism stays.

  12. Chris says:

    haha Ian. Its true but I don’t think most Kiwis like to here that

  13. Bob says:

    One of the negative things I saw were the extreme arrogance the general public showed to how good they thought the All Balcks were. Also, the poor behaviour alot of people showed to Australians and teams losing to the All Blacks. How often did I see people jumping in front of Australians or French shouting at them like rabid dogs “go home go home’. I don’t think that was a boost for tourism thinking NZer’s are friendly good natured lot, more likely still stuck in their inferiority complex………….Overall loved the Cup. Good to know NZ can host world class events and everyone got in to it and enjoyed it.

  14. Ian M says:

    Couldnt agree more Ian!! Won a cup that really only half a dozen countries could have won haha. Check out the UK papers and only a small mention of it. Least we have the under 20 football world cup to look forward to…Think Monn needs to spend a bit of time overseas in the real world

  15. The Trickster says:

    October 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I was directly outside the game and saw the crowds stream past on the way home - I swear at times our rugby crowds don’t seem to know the difference between a win and a funeral. There was no dancing, no singing, no yelling - well except for our crew. As a country we just don’t celebrate well - well except for football supporters.

    October 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Yeah, I was a bit disappointed in that too. While we were jumping around singing “we just won the world cup” we made sure we gave hugs to any French supporters coming past.

    Anyway, enjoyed the cup - I was certainly part of the don’t care/almost pre-hate it crowd beforehand, but I got into it and enjoyed myself - not sure it’ll be worth it economically as I know that many industries outside of bars/restaurants are really struggling at the moment.

  16. Geoff Houtman says:

    Not a fan, but, yes it was worth it.
    Kiwis behaved so well, weather was damn near perfect.
    If it wasn’t for that black stain near Tauranga you’d have thought it was hosted in the Garden of Eden itself.
    Other pluses-
    Many thousands more people know what a train is and where to catch one.
    We know how bad Ateed are and may have clues on how to fix it.
    We can now give Chch the Cloud.

  17. Chris says:

    Hopefully we can keep the Cloud up here. Wonder what is happening with the large screens they used inside the building. Some live English Premier League?

  18. ingolfson says:

    Not happy with the huge financial cost of it, not happy with Mr Smileyface milking it all he can for the election and to distract people from our massive social and economic problems (admittedly, Helen would have done the same - which doesn’t make it any more right).

    Ah well, I understand people had fun at least ;-)


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