With the Rugby World Cup about half way through, how is New Zealand faring under the scrutiny of the sporting world?In a land known for being clean, green and riding whales, the opening ceremony demonstrated that New Zealand is more than capable of putting on a world-class show. Viewers were treated to Maori culture, dancing, fireworks and … synchronised cranes? No-one is entirely sure what that was about but it’s good to know that New Zealand can handle all your shipping needs with grace and poise! The ceremony was only tarnished by transport issues when 2000 people had to abandon stopped trains and walk to the city centre after.
The country has a relatively small media playing field but being a member of the Commonwealth, it’s only fitting that New Zealand gets its own royal scandal. Mike Tindall was shockingly caught “cavorting”with a mystery blonde while out partying in Auckland with CCTV footage provided as “evidence” of his infidelity. As usual, the UK press took the ball with relish and ran with it, with photos of an unhappy Zara supplied as further “evidence” that the marriage is doomed. Things move fast in NZ and it wasn’t long before the bonkers bouncer who provided the 12 minute tape was in court and after the kick-off of the next game, the whole thing was pretty much forgotten.
The Scottish supporters are up in arms because bagpipes are not permitted in any of the stadiums. They fall into the same group as Vuvuzelas and umbrellas… distracting for the team competing against Scotland. Letters have been written and several well-known Kiwis have stood up in support of the Scottish being permitted to show their patriotism in the form of glorious bagpipe music. The All Blacks are permitted to perform the Haka at the beginning of every game, why can’t the Scots have the same privilege?
New Zealand is very proud of its image of being safe, clean and family friendly and gaining a good reputation from the World Cup is vital to ensure that New Zealand is considered a serious contender for hosting international large scale events. There are just a few weeks left until NZ can celebrate the end of a successful World Cup and hopefully, a win for the All Blacks. But no matter what happens between now and then, rugby will be the winner on the day.