I and I’m sure many others were surprised to see that the All Blacks celebrations in Auckland are taking place in Victoria Park. Why there instead of a parade down Queen St and/or some kind of event on Queens Wharf.

There are expected to be tens of thousands of Aucklanders wanting to see and congratulate the team. With the exception of people from the North Shore or the inner western suburbs Victoria Park is likely difficult to access regardless if what mode you use. Queen St in the other hand is one of the most connected locations in the city. At the northern end there is the ferry terminal and Britomart while many other bus routes pass through or very close to Queen St.

If I had to guess, the main reason for the location is most likely to have been dictated by Auckland Transport who in these situations in the past have appeared took be strangled by bureaucratic processes which prevent them from making sensible decisions. Perhaps they wanted some massive prepared traffic management plan or perhaps they didn’t want to disrupt all of the buses now using Queen St or some of the streets that cross it such as Wellesley and Victoria St at short notice. The last scenario is at least slightly understandable although highlight an amazing lack of flexibility, especially seeing as no work has yet started on Albert St.

Amazingly AT aren’t even putting any more PT services on to get people to the events although they are routing some buses around Victoria Park differently All they say on their website is

Buses travel along Victoria St or Fanshawe St by Victoria Park:

  • InnerLink* from stop 7016 Customs St East near Queens Arcade
  • OuterLink from stop 7006 Wellesley St East near ASB bank
  • Ritchies – Northern Express (NEX), 881
  • Birkenhead Transport services
  • North Shore services* – 922, 858, 879, 839, 875

It’s all really quite a poor outcome – especially after using Jerome Kaino to try and encourage people to use PT and HOP

*note I’m happy to be proven wrong about it being AT who prevented a parade on Queen St

Some photos from the 2011 parade below, which of course was on Queen St. Will Victoria Park be able to accommodate the same numbers? Will the same number of people physically be able to get there?

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  1. Was hopeful that all the fecking rugby would have faded out of the news. Obviously no poor hungry people in New Zealand. Blinded by circuses and cake to the reality around.

  2. This was exactly my thinking Matt. I’m gobsmacked. Queen Street is probably the best connected place in Auckland. The 1995 Americas Cup winning celebration was a parade along Queen Street. I’m not so confident Victoria Park will handle a big crowd well. And unlike a parade on Queen Street where lots of people get the opportunity to get close up, I don’t think that will be the case at Victoria Park. I just hope one or both of the TV screens doesn’t go on the blink. Len Brown reckons Vic Park will be fine. 2011 RWC Opening night deja-vu anyone? Otherwise heaps of people won’t be able to make it to Victoria Park and will miss out. This is a serious let down.

    1. It’s funny that Queen Street can be closed for an anti-zionist protest (as one was on last year) but not a Rugby World Cup victory celebration

  3. They always encourage people to use PT to get to these things and they always let them down. Expect to see stories on the news of people who took their advice and full trains/buses/ferries went past them.

  4. Ateed is quite lack laster for their support of all blacks. There is no screen nor gathering place during the finals, the parade take place on a weekday where people have to work. It is just not sensible and looks like they dont have any passion even there is a need from general public.

  5. Queen Steet? We aren’t New York!! My bet is nobody wanted to fund the $100,000 odd to close off Queen Street. We are a pack of old scrooges. Who can forget the wonderful America’s Cup ticker tape parade. The mayor said on ZB this mornig that Vic Park would hold 60,000. Time he had a holiday

  6. how crazy is the council not to have the celebrations in Queen St you should have thought about every one that works in the city area, they will not get to see the boys home coming. you are there to support the public in such wonderful time.

  7. I’d like to point out that AT was not the one to make the call on this – as someone who’s heard about the recent discussions, I am told ATEED were the ones who dictated the location – not AT…

    And I believe there are some extra services – but that’s all I can say

  8. Imagine if there was a large square in the centre of the city that was specifically created and designed as a central location to host public receptions, demonstrations etc …

    1. Aucklanders are not sophisticated enough to use public transport unless it gets from their start to finish with only one mode of transport and not having to walk more than a block either way

      1. Alex, the historic evidence is to the contrary, for the America’s Cup parades there were queues at the Devonport ferry terminal and capacity sailings, a collegue drove from Takapuna into the city and the roads were nearly deserted. Aucklanders are smart enough to deal with issues like this, remember CHOGM? the predicted traffic chaos never happened, I imagine that we’ll cope with the CRL works just the same

  9. Any one in Queen st and the surrounding area could use the City link to get to Victoria Park.

    One thing that possible influenced ATEED in hoping the celebration at Victoria Park is the infrastructure was in place because of the Auckland Marathon that was held on Sunday. So they did not need to pack down in Victoria park and set up elsewhere.

    1. Yeah but realistically who can get away from of work, wait for a bus to Victoria Park, see the parade, wait for another bus back and turn up late to work and covered in mud? Hopeless from the Council.

  10. It makes sense to me – Victoria Park is used for sports, including rugby league, so there is a link with rugby, whereas as far as I am unaware Queen St has no sporting uses. I could be wrong

    1. So what? it’s a parade not a game of rugby. Well so now it’ll be a mud bath when had it been up Queen St thousands of people could have been under cover.

      They manage to close 5th Ave in NY for Parades; AT, or ATEED, or Council do seem to be incredibly inflexible and joyless about public events.

  11. Only brolly shelter today at Vic Park – but who cares? Mayor has saved $100,000.00 & Queen Street will be dead as the language students (Queen St’s mainstay) will be at Vic Park

  12. I’d just like to thank them for organising the parade on a weekday in a venue that requires everyone to drive. The roads are constipated and I’ll be an hour late for my first appointment.

  13. I went down to Victoria Park to join in the event. I was initial sceptical, thinking that a parade would have been better. But I was wrong. The team walked along a pathway through the middle of the crowd, signing autographs, joining in and taking selfies, shaking hands accepting hugs and cheers.. far more intimate than a distant view on a flatbed utility or a bus. I wonder if the All Black management requested the more intimate approach. It certainly was a hit with the crowd there. So I think the parade through the crowd was much better than a line of vehicles up Queen St. The fine weather seemed to encourage a wide range of people to join and the walk through town to the event was fun.

    1. “So I think the parade through the crowd was much better than a line of vehicles up Queen St.”

      What is wrong with a WALKING parade down Queen Street? Or even both? Drive partway and then walk, or drive one way and walk back?

      Lets not get blinkered by unconcious “roads are for cars” thinking!

    2. I was also at the event and I’m sure the pathway approach was a hit with the crowd – the fairly small portion that was able to get near to the fences anyway. If you weren’t in the first 2-3 rows of people along the pathway you couldn’t see a damn thing – so the result was a long tedious wait for the All Blacks to reach the stage, where they awkwardly took their seats, were serenaded by Sol3 Mio (doing their best with an awkward song choice) and were then treated to an awkwardly adoring speech from the Mayor. The haka from school students was probably the highlight but given the dead flat terrain, it was just about impossible to see the screens let alone the stage.

      There was however a great view and camera angles for the TV media (on platforms in the middle of the sportsground). It’ll look impressive on the 6pm news and in commemorative highlight edits on the official All Blacks and various Council Youtube channels and maybe that’s all that was really required?

      I’m sure a lot of the people there were loving it regardless, but a Queen Street parade would have been far, far preferable with much more of a sense of occasion.

  14. It also beats my why on Sunday Auckland Transport couldn’t put early morning services on for both the Auckland Marathon and the Rugby World Cup final. They stuck to the original timetable where practically nothing leaves before 7am on a Sunday meaning the only way into the city is via car or taxi. Finding a park in the central city at 5am was a stroke of luck

  15. Im not sure if Queen st should be where all parades happen, however Queen st has so much focus because of politics (CRL targets) that in many ways they only want business there yet if the parade was there increase of PT might be gained.

    Im surprised by the comments on this blog. I would have thought that some praise would be shown for the following

    1. That the council spent less by not disrupting transport for a parade in a key business/transport area and kept queen st working well as a main pedestrian thoroughfare.
    2. That they put the event around/near centralised public transport routes that could be adapted if the need was there.
    3. Having a public event in a nice green environment rather than a concrete corridor.

    However if AC and AT want do do this sort of thing they should have plans in place to get more people to a venue like this via bus lanes etc so that there is maximisation of people.

  16. I went to the celebration today and compared to the great parades down Queen St for the 1995 Americas Cup winning team (also on a working weekday) and the 2011RWC winning team, this was a pale imitation, a lackluster effort by ATEED, Len Brown and his council (that’s no disrespect to the various groups who were involved). Yeah I bet it was great for the few who were right up at the fence but a parade spread over several blocks gives many, many more people the chance to see the team from a close distance. Apparently there were 25,000 at Victoria Park today. A parade down Queen street would have probably tripled that at the least. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Auckland attendance is surpassed by both Christchurch and Wellington. Seeing Auckland produce such a lackluster ceremony must just pi** Dunedin-ites off even more knowing they could better!I’m sure the difference in effort between 2011 and today was noticed by ABs who had been a part of both RWC campaigns. Pretty poor reward for a bunch of guys who worked their ar** off to make history for the country. I honestly think this country takes this team and it’s achievements for granted way too much.

    1. Seems to me to be pretty obvious why “they” chose Victoria Park over Queen St today – small children running everywhere, getting autographs. Not such a good idea in a central city street…

      1. Health and Safety was the winner on the day, and Atmosphere was sent down the tunnel for an early shower. If these helicopter event planners ever opened a nightclub there would be intense bright lighting, a cap on decibels and 10 square metres per occupant

    2. I assumed the players’ reward was their obscene salary. Does winning a game of rugby improve the life of a working class family living in a garage in South Auckland?

  17. Really? You honestly think this country takes this team and its achievements for granted way too much? Wow. No more Kool Aid for you, mate – you’re cut off.

  18. I think the disruption to PT was too great to risk a parade down Queen St. Plus people could have lined the streets all the way from the hotel and in fact they did. In 1995 was there even anyone in the city?

    I do recall the RWC parade in 2011, and the turnout was enormous, but I doubt we will ever get a parade that big ever again.
    It was the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. It was on a Monday which was a holiday, there was a huge family event in the Domain earlier in the day, it was a perfect sunny day and the TMP from the RWC was still in place on Queen St. None of those factors were present this time around.

    But hey, at least they tried it once and they know better for next time we have an impromptu celebration in the CBD.

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