Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tupperwaka Bigger Than Ben Hur?

Did you visit the Tupperwaka on the Auckland waterfront?
Do you know anybody who did? This international showcase of maoridom was supposedly swamped by 240,000 visitors! One every second, we're assured! A glowing success! If that success was true, then perhaps the $2m cost for a week's worth of display MIGHT be justified. But NZ Herald did the maths:
"The pavilion has a capacity of 600. For 240,000 to have passed through in seven days – when it was open for just 59 hrs – 1.1 people would've had to enter the waka every second from opening to closing. On the peak day of Sunday (17th), almost two people a second would've had to enter…Last Friday (21st., when the Herald was counting), 1015 people entered the waka in the half-hour between 12.48pm and 1.18pm, a rate of 0.6 people a second. At this busy time on a brilliantly sunny day, the waka saw only a fraction of the required number."
So whose bum did organisers pull those numbers from? They claimed the figure was for "visits to Waka Maori", but earlier last week Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples announced 170,000 visits in the first four days to "Te Waka Maori... and its associated artisan village". The village is on the walkway between the Viaduct Harbour and the Wynyard Quarter, and gets heavy foot traffic passing between the two…so anyone transiting between those two locations would be included in Tupperwaka stats! When you see it in that light, the claim appears ever so slightly BS.
So why try a PR spin? Or – calling a spade a spade – telling a blatant lie? If the attendances were average, so be it. If it was a resounding success, well done. But the entire Tupperwaka fiasco has generated so much negativity that twisting the truth like this just adds to the brown pile.
And how stupidly short-sighted to shut it down the very day the *yawn* RWC ended! Yesterday, Labour Day, was a sunny public holiday that would've drawn people to the waterfront…for what? Nothing. The Tupperwaka, the giant rugby ball, Queens Wharf all closed to the public. People came into the CBD yesterday for the RWC victory parade. At least that was something to rave about – the Tupperwaka visitor numbers were not.

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