The quid pro quo for Christchurch losing all its World Cup matches is that the All Blacks ought to re-arrange their schedule to play one game in the South Island.

Does this defy convention? Yes. Would it be normal? No. Is it important? Most certainly.

Major changes were inevitable to the whole schedule the moment the earthquake struck Christchurch. Despite the misplaced optimism of Prime Minister John Key that somehow, AMI Stadium and the devastated city could be patched up, those in authority at the IRB were already making a cool assessment.

Very quickly, they came to the conclusion Christchurch was finished as a venue, no matter the emotional words from politicians.

I share Christchurch's sense of angst at the decision taken this week. But I commend the IRB for making it. Any other decision would have been ridiculous and possibly disastrous, as some of my friends in Christchurch have told me.

No one ever answered my original point that, given there have been two quakes in six months, when are they sure to have finished and when is it safe to start rebuilding?

Those who preferred emotional dialogue to reality overlooked those critical points. Thank goodness the IRB didn't.

There will now be considerable disruption for several teams, so why would it not be possible to add one more small element of change by re-locating just one of New Zealand's matches to the South Island?

If the will exists to do it, it could surely be done, even if it meant moving or switching another fixture. It is axiomatic that New Zealand's 2011 Rugby World Cup will now be an even more deeply moving experience for the people of this singular country than was already likely to be the case. With what has gone on in the preceding months, never mind the All Blacks' determination to win the tournament for the first time since 1987, it will be a highly emotional event.

Ensuring New Zealand play at least one match in the South Island would be an appropriate gesture to the people of Christchurch who so love their rugby but have been denied the chance to see games in their city.

Those such as Key, who falsely raised hopes that games could take place there, rubbishing people whose only "crime" was to apply common sense to the situation, should be studying their own role in this affair.

I was asked on radio this week what it felt like to go from being the most despised man in New Zealand (I said weeks ago it was obvious no games could take place in Christchurch) to the most lauded, all inside 10 days. My feelings are irrelevant when set alongside those of New Zealanders who have lost loved ones, friends, homes and jobs.

But I do question the motives of a man who dismisses what was always going to be the truth, in such a cavalier manner, when he must have known his words would bring encouragement to those who still believed Christchurch was a possibility as a venue.

It never was, from the moment the earthquake struck, and if the Prime Minister didn't know that, or was unable to grasp the fact, he must have been either very badly briefed or extremely naive.

Of course, casting aspersions at others when they hear news they don't like and which is too close to the truth is the first action of all politicians the world over.

It would be a marvellous humanitarian gesture if the All Blacks could travel south for one game.

But whatever happens, I continue to believe New Zealand will put on a great World Cup.

* Peter Bills is a rugby writer for Independent News & Media in London.