Tell me again why I should support the Rugby World Cup? - Tactical Ninja
Jun. 30th, 2011
09:30 am - Tell me again why I should support the Rugby World Cup?
This is rank. For those who can't be arsed reading the article, it's about a school in New Plymouth (small town Unzud at its best) that has a field next door to one of the stadiums that'll be used for a Rugby World Cup match. Probably not a big match, because it's New Plymouth - however the school had planned to let folks park their cars on the field for $10 a pop during the games, just like they have for games for the last 50 years. Except now under the RWC advertising laws, they've been told that since they're within 500m of the stadium, they aren't allowed to 'jump on the bandwagon and profit'. Only official sponsors and licensees get to profit from the extra people that'll be going through the area.
So I tried to find out what it costs to get a licence.
I went to rugbyworldcup.com. I got a page that consists entirely of disclaimers about what you are and aren't allowed to do with their web content. Including the following:
"Links To the Site
It is the policy of RWC not to permit links to the site (including so-called "deep links" to pages of the site other than the homepage) without the prior written permission of RWC."
So I haven't linked to it, which is ok because I couldn't find any information on there about how to get a licence anyway. However I did find a list of official sponsors and partners - ie, those who are allowed to make money from the rugby world cup. Here they are:
Toshiba, Heineken, Mastercard, Microsoft, ANZ, Land Rover, DHL, BlackBerry, Emirates, Brancott EstateWines, Societe Generale.
Of those, Brancott Estate is the only NZ company, being Brancott Estate Marlborough. But wait! Who owns Brancott Estate? Pernod Ricard, a US based company that moved the headquarters of BE (formerly Montana Wines) offshore when it took over. So not one of the organisations that's recognised on the RWC website as being officially allowed to profit from the RWC is NZ-based. All those profits are going overseas. This might explain some of the expected $500million deficit to our country from the RWC.
And yet a small school in Taranaki that's been fundraising through selling carpark space for rugby games for over 50 years is not allowed to fundraise during this game, because Toshiba might take a hit that they can't come back from if the school gets that $9000? There is something seriously wrong with this picture.
I have a personal beef with the RWC apart from what it's costing us as a nation to line the pockets of international corporations and the seemingly anti-citizen set of its rules. That covered walkway that's going in from where the cruise ships dock to the stadium? That's been disrupting traffic for the last three months along Aotea Quay? Paid for by Wellington ratepayers under the ports access initiative. I couldn't find details but it gets a mention in the 2009/2010 annual report.
Now, my friends who work at the ports end of town have to walk there with no covered walkway, and they have for years. People who catch the train into town have to get from the station to pretty much anywhere (except the stadium) with no covered walkway. People getting off the ferry, if they don't get a bus into town, have to walk with no cover. This is how it has been for a very long time. Now our council, as an 'improved access' initiative that is supposed to make life better for citizens, has put up a covered walkway from the cruise ship terminal to the stadium, just in time for the RWC. Railway station to workplaces at the port? Still exposed. Ferry to town? Still exposed. Town to port? Still exposed. So I'd ask who exactly is going to benefit from this covered walkway and if it's not the citizens of Wellington (who are not known for taking ocean cruises to visit sports events in their own city), then why the fuck are we paying for it?
Especially if we're not allowed to profit personally from the cup. Especially when the majority of money made out of the cup is going offshore. Especially when our city will be filled with rugbyheads for 6 weeks later this year, stomping all over the parts of the city that those of us not into rugby really love. Especially when we know all this but are still expected to play gracious host to people who didn't have to pay for any of this but treat it as if it's theirs by right. When we didn't ask for this but had it thrust on us. And when we get told by overseas corporations what we are and aren't allowed to do in our own city in order to protect their profits.
Fuck that shit. Seriously, the RWC might be 'our religion' (for someone else's defined values of 'our'), but fuck that shit and fuck anyone who thinks we're benefitting from it.
The only use I can think of for this circus is the opportunity to embarrass our government on the international stage for its crap policies.
And now I've got that off my chest and worked up a good head of steam, I'm off to ring the IRD and tear somebody a new one. Because I'm done with their bullshit too.
 Apparently the school will now be allowed to run its car park. 'Discretion' is allowed within the rules. The cynic in me wonders how this would have gone without the publicity.