Owen Hembry

Owen Hembry is the business news editor of the New Zealand Herald

Auckland takes pride in Rugby World Cup success stories

92% of visitors and 87% of Auckland residents say the Rugby World Cup in Auckland city is a success. Photo / Sarah Ivey
92% of visitors and 87% of Auckland residents say the Rugby World Cup in Auckland city is a success. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Bad publicity surrounding the opening day of the Rugby World Cup has not stopped Aucklanders and visitors to the city alike from taking the tournament to their hearts, according to a new survey.

The preliminary survey conducted by Gravitas for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) found that 87 per cent of Aucklanders and 92 per cent of visitors thought the event in the city had been a success - no matter which team wins.

Ateed chief executive Michael Redman said the tournament had captured the imagination of people.

"Whether they have been attending events and going to matches or not, it's hard to be in Auckland and not see the fervour and the participation of people with flags on vehicles," Redman said.

"The residents survey result shows that the vast majority of Aucklanders haven't been affected by the coverage and commentary around opening night.

"It hasn't affected either their experience of the Rugby World Cup or their perception of it, and I think that was largely the feedback that we were getting and I think it's come through in this survey."

Programmes had been run for volunteers, schools and adopting a second team for the tournament.

"I think all of those things have increased the visibility and the ability for people to participate in the tournament, whether they've got a ticket to one of the matches or not."

There were between 1900 and 2000 volunteers in the Auckland region working on a roster in public spaces including the fan trail and central business district, helping people with information, directions and a warm welcome, Redman said.

"There's a volunteers centre down here on the waterfront where they're based. They're briefed, they go out to do their work and we can give them a meal," he said.

"It's actually a big logistical part of the event delivery."

Redman said the organisation had been overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to be involved in activities.

"It has been really one of the highlights for us in terms of the tournament delivery."

There were hard and soft measures for the tournament, he said.

"One of those softer measures is the way that Aucklanders are feeling about their city and the pride that they take in either Auckland's ability to host it or the perception that they have."

RWC SURVEY

* 92 per cent of visitors and 87pc of Auckland residents say World Cup in the city is a success.

* 96 per cent of visitors are satisfied with the venue on Queens Wharf.

* 86 per cent of residents are proud of the way Auckland has hosted visitors.

* 84 per cent of residents have a sense of pride in how the Auckland region looks and feels.

* 89 per cent of residents say the cup has generated a greater sense of community spirit in the city.

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development

- NZ Herald

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