Thursday 7 April 2011

Promoting the World Cup

Oh, the dangers when the government starts picking winners.

The New Zealand government is providing a couple million dollars to build a plastic waka (Maori canoe, traditionally made of tōtara or other wood) to help in cultural promotion during the Rugby World Cup.

Jock Anderson at the National Business Review points to another, equally worthy, proposal that didn't get funding:
A Maori businessman said a government-funded cultural whore house in central Auckland would give better returns from the rugby world cup than $2 million spent on a big plastic war canoe.


“I am a Maori and I would like my business plan funded by the Government also.

I am proposing a cultural whore house to be situated in central Auckland to give all the Rugby World Cup tourists a cultural experience.

The Government can fund the $2M fit out of the premises and WINZ can fund the wahine's required for the business - maybe even some career retraining.

This would have more economic benefit to the country and to Maori than a plastic canoe.
You'll need your National Business Review subscription to read the whole article. Fortunately, the University of Canterbury subscribes and I'm able to read from off campus (with a few minor irritations).

I had often wished, pre-earthquake, that we wouldn't have the inconvenience of the RWC in Christchurch (or the cost of it to the country). RWC would have done less damage than the earthquake.

Maybe we should build the big plastic waka though. But make sure it has a leak such that it takes on about a few gallons of water per second. Then put Cabinet in the waka. Then launch it out into the harbour. Leave them there 'till they're so sick of bailing things out that they won't try it anymore. Then put the Shadow Cabinets into the waka and give them a turn (pull Cullen out of retirement to help). Kinda like forcing the kid to smoke the whole pack so he won't have a taste for it any more. Or Brewster's Millions.


  1. I'm guessing then that you are no great fan of the plans to bail out AMI, or the South Canterbury Finance bail-out? :)

  2. Beautiful!! Seems you're slowly getting to grips with "Kiwi Culture and Politics"

  3. Indeed you are getting to grips with Kiwi culture Eric - jumping on the Maori-bashing bandwagon on the basis of nothing more than a catchy headline. Read it again - it's not a waka, it's a building shaped like a waka, and it actually serves a purpose.

  4. @Miguel: But it would serve a better purpose as a real waka, with a hole, that could instruct Cabinet about bailing things out.

    If we're at the point where we just say "Meh, they're already blowing better than a hundred million on the damned rugby, who cares about another two", that's depressing.

    I have absolutely no problem with cultural promotion. When I hosted a small international workshop here last year, I took the group out to Willowbank for their awesome evening show. Because it's important. But not with other people's money!