The Waitaki District Council is thrilled with the invitation from the government to be the venue for the Rugby World Cup’s Party Central.
Council spokesperson, Gloria Fiesta said the District had no concerns about entertaining and accommodating tens of thousands of visitors.
“We’ve watched how they’ve done it up north and seen what a mess they’ve made of it, so we’ll just do the opposite of that,” she said.
“We’ll make a decision on the venue, make sure it’s up to scratch and be ready and waiting with smiles on our faces when the rugby fans hit town,” she said.
“We’ll consult our friends in Dunedin if we need advice. They’ve got a whole stadium half built while those Aucklanders have been faffing round deciding and undeciding.”
Ms Fiesta admitted that dealing with hordes of partying fans wouldn’t be without its challenges but was sure crowd control wouldn’t be a problem.
“We’ve survived the Indie Undie 500 passing through and we’ll have a few practice runs with penguins and sheep to get ourselves accustomed to big numbers.”
Council staff had been investigating possible venues since receiving a confidential missive from the Beehive a few weeks ago.
“The Minister was running out of patience with Auckland and asked us to be ready to move if their plans fell over. Parkside Quarry at Weston and Elephant Rocks both provide natural amphitheatres which would make wonderful party venues. If they’re considered too far from town we’ll do something with the Historic Precinct.
“Those buildings have been there for more than 100 years, there’s nothing rugby fans could throw at them that won’t have been thrown before.”
Ms Fiesta said the town had several hundred commercial beds and would augment them with homestays, school hostels, old people’s homes and wool sheds.
“These people are here not just for the rugby but to experience our culture and you don’t get much more cultural than a wool shed,” she said.