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Govt 'Nationalises' Waterfront After RWC Opening Problems

The Government has announced what has been called a plan to take control of the Auckland waterfront for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.

Cup Minister Murray McCully announced the plans – using powers under the Rugby World Cup Empowerment Bill – at a press conference today, following criticism of the management of venues and transport on the opening night.

McCully said there were plans to open up more spaces and provide more amenities along the waterfront. He told National Radio the substance of the plan was putting through urgent consents for these rather than a takeover.

The Government had previously been directly responsible for the management of the Queen's Wharf venue. Ministers have maintained that opening-night problems occurred within the jurisdiction of Auckland Transport and the council.

The Auckland Mayor's office has said Mayor Len Brown was only being briefed following the announcement. Auckland Council transport committee chair Mike Lee has called the plan an "overreaction".

Update: Len Brown has suggested urgent consents were being worked on under the RWC Act but the Minister's announcement taking public control of the process was unexpected.

Breaking – may be updated. Reload to see latest version.

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Radio NZ Audio:

On Len Brown's Response The latest now on the government's decision to take control of the Auckland waterfront for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.

Interview with Murray McCully on the government's decision today to take control of the Auckland waterfront for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.

Report: The Government is taking control of the Auckland waterfront for the rest of the Rugby World Cup.

Waka paddlers at rugby world cup festivities on Auckland's waterfront say they were bashed and kicked by drunken revellers, who broke one woman's rib.

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