Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pie In The Sky? No, That's A Cloud!

The Cloud, that huge amoebic slug lieing along Auckland’s Queens Wharf, is virtually complete.
Costing taxpayers nearly $10m – not including the other $18m for Shed 10, wharf repairs, landscaping, lights, services, furniture etc – it had better start earning immediately.
But no, it’s first event will be free: a three-day event showcase of the Pacific region to kiwis and *yawn* Rugby World Cup visitors.
The Pacific Showcase coincides with the 40th anvsy.of the Pacific Islands Forum. The event will provide 'unprecedented opportunities to connect Pacific enterprises with consumers, retailers and potential suppliers in NZ - one of the region's most important trading partners'. Featuring a vibrant fusion of art, travel, music, dance, food, furniture, beauty, jewellery and fashion from throughout the Pacific Islands, the showcase demonstrates there's plenty more to the Pacific than blue skies and white sandy beaches…so says the PR release.
Yeup, a nice idea that uses The Slug - opps, sorry, The Cloud! – as it’s intended. However it can’t be run as a freebee and the sooner it starts returning something to the coffers, the better. So far, all we’ve heard about the *yawn* RWC is endless outlay and forecast losses…
...meanwhile, right next door to this 'glorious RWC showcase of kiwi ingenuity and glam' (read 'Party Central piss-up venue'), the show must go on for the Ports Of Auckland. Almost 180 working ships will arrive during the tournament, using several wharves along the waterfront. Some vehicle transporters’ll be offloading at Queens Wharf during the Cup itself. It sure highlights the incongruity of an industrial port in the centre of the CBD, and also underlines the concerns of the cruising industry. Other cities around the world - such as Hong Kong, Mumbai and Sydney - had relocated their ports over the years to boost tourism, but oh no, not Auckland!
The icing on the RWC cake: armchair spectators wanting to upgrade their Sky package to high definition for the games will have to wait until well into the tournament: Sky's run out of decoders!
Customers have been told it’ll take 22 days to essentially just to swap over a box from a standard to an HD one. It’s a tad gob-smacking that a big company like Sky didn’t plan ahead for what’s obviously a demand.
Damn, this country’s soooooooooo good at forward-planning. Not.

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