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Auckland Council staff to depart early for RWC opening night

15 August 2011

Auckland Council staff to depart early for RWC opening night

Auckland Council is encouraging its employees to leave work early on the Rugby World Cup 2011’s opening night to relieve congestion in the CBD and Britomart, as well as to allow staff to enjoy the waterfront festivities planned for the evening.

The September 9 Opening Night celebrations aim to attract up to 50,000 people to Auckland’s waterfront. In addition, 60,000 people will attend the opening match at Eden Park, many of them via the Britomart and CBD; workers and residents will be impacted and there will be some street closures.

Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay said businesses based in the central city may want to consider following the council’s recommendations to its employees to leave work at 3pm or earlier on that Friday. Firms might also consider flexi-time for staff, car-pools (to reduce vehicles on roads), or holding an after-hours function so employees can stay on and enjoy the celebration.

“Getting out of the CBD at peak time on September the 9th will mean negotiating very heavy traffic and sharing public transport with thousands of Aucklanders and visitors from the early afternoon,” said McKay. “Central city businesses and others should consider now how they will either leave the city early, or allow their staff time to attend the celebrations.

“In being flexible on this one day, we are doing our part to help the city run smoothly thereby contributing to the success of the event – let’s not forget the whole world is watching.”

Only the council’s CBD offices will be affected by the early closure and minimum staffing will be maintained at levels that will ensure services continue to be delivered to Aucklanders.

Key points to help your planning for Sept. 9:

• The roads and public transport will be very busy, so stay in town and be part of the fun or leave the CBD by early afternoon. Trying to get home from the CBD at peak time will be very difficult.
• From 3.30 pm commuter train frequencies will reduce and services will become extremely busy carrying fans to Eden Park. Drivers can expect delays in the CBD and Eden Park areas with some roads closed.
• Free waterfront celebrations stretch from Queens Wharf to the Eastern Viaduct along Quay St. The event kicks off at 4pm with a fleet of 20 waka arriving and will include headline act The Finn brothers, as well as the largest fireworks and light show Auckland has ever seen.
• In addition, the event will feature live coverage of the RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony and opening match from Eden Park on big screens at Queens Wharf, along Quay St and at the Eastern Viaduct.
• The lower downtown area, including part of Quay St and streets north of Customs St, will be a pedestrian only zone from 10pm on Thursday 8 September until 4am on Saturday 10 September.
• If you have a ticket for the Opening Match, try the Fan Trail and walk to Eden Park and enjoy the entertainment and hospitality along the way.
• Special event public transport is free with a match ticket and one of the best ways of getting to the match; plan to be in your seat at least half an hour before opening ceremony and kick off. Visit maxx.co.nz or call 0800 AUCKLAND closer to the time.

For more information, businesses can go to: www.auckland2011.com


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