The officials responsible for planning Auckland's transport and celebrations at the Rugby World Cup are the same people reviewing Friday night's stuff-ups with the trains and waterfront opening ceremony.

Auckland Transport chairman Mark Ford and chief executive David Warburton are reviewing their agency's role with the trains that led to at least 2000 people missing the opening ceremony at Eden Park because of train delays.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Michael Redman is overseeing a report for councillors into the problems with events on the waterfront that his staff had been planning for four years.

The train review will examine the performance of the private train operator, Veolia, whose chief executive Graham Siberry has copped much of the blame for the train shambles.


The review is examining performance measures in Veolia's contract to see what, if any, penalties can be imposed.

The performance of two Australians, hired for their experience in events such as the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, is also expected to come under scrutiny.

Bruce Barnard was hired by Auckland Transport as the Rugby World Cup transport programme director and ATEED's Rachael Dacy is the Rugby World Cup Auckland co-ordination group chairwoman.

Mr Ford could not be reached yesterday for comment, but last Thursday he told Auckland councillors that every eventuality had been planned for and only an act of God would stop a smooth passage to the game.

Mayor Len Brown declined to comment on Mr Ford, Mr Warburton and Mr Redman reviewing the performance of their own organisations, but it is understood they were chosen to address and fix the problems before Saturday's clash at Eden Park between Australia and Ireland. A council source said now was not the time for finger-pointing and a blame game, saying an independent review could take place once the Rugby World Cup was over.

The mayor is expected to receive a report by the three officials today into the train shambles and crowd issues on the waterfront. It will be made public at a meeting of the council's accountability and performance committee tomorrow.

The committee is due to formalise plans to have more buses on standby for future matches at Eden Park and improved services by Veolia.

The company has been told to keep passengers better informed and to improve safety and security.


Mr Brown has made the train review a priority to restore confidence in public transport, but also wants answers about problems on the waterfront.

More than 200,000 people poured into downtown Auckland for the celebrations, causing a crush outside Queens Wharf.

Problems were compounded when one side of a double-side television screen on Quay St failed and people poured over to the Ferry Building side of the screen, which was still working. This led to the cancellation of ferry services. A second television screen failed in the Viaduct Harbour.

It has emerged that cup organisers had been expecting a crowd of up to 150,000 at the waterfront for weeks when they were publicly talking about a crowd of 50,000.

Despite the burgeoning projections, ATEED kept encouraging people to attend the "biggest party Auckland has ever seen" and refused to tell the Herald last Wednesday about contingency plans for more than 50,000 people.

Mr Brown has promised "fair" compensation to rugby fans who missed the action at Eden Park, but details are still being worked on. Auckland Transport has set up a hotline and website for those affected to register as the first step.


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Thousands of fans were stuck in transport chaos on the opening night of the World Cup. The Herald reports some experiences

"Me, my 8-year-old son, my brother and his wife and their two kids aged 5 and 3 were all stuck on the train for three hours. One hour spent travelling, two hours stuck between Newmarket and Britomart. The first explanation after 30 minutes waiting was we had to wait for a platform at Britomart to open. Then we were told the emergency brake was put on. A group of teenagers and a drunk old man had had enough and busted the doors open and walked on to the tracks after waiting over an hour. The kids were scared, crying, because of the behaviour of some on the train. Will never use public transport again!"

NO SECURITY - Warren Clarke

"Pure and simple, the train system could not cope. I got on the train at Glen Eden at 3pm, arrived at Britomart at 4.20pm. About a third of the people couldn't get on at Glen Eden as the train was full - and I mean really full. We stopped at all the stops along the way, with hundreds of other commuters wanting to get on. No one could as the train was overloaded. At each stop you could clearly see angry people wanting to get on but they couldn't. I recall seeing a young lady at the Avondale stop with a pram and young baby. She was clearly not going to the rugby, she was just trying to get home. As she couldn't, she just broke down to the ground and started crying. The trip was long, slow and very hot. There were no conductors or security on the trains to inform anyone of the delays."

'DROPPED THE BALL' - Steve Graham

"Anyone who joined the queue who needed to get to Eden Park was mad. It was patently obvious that walking or getting the bus was going to be faster. However, all the bus stop locations had been changed as well so finding out where to go was a shambles and I saw a number of people asking for directions and no one was able to help. A few simple steps to tell people, especially visitors, how to walk to Eden Park or setting up dozens of free buses from say the Aotea Centre or up Albert St would have reduced the pressure. The buck stops with the transport management. They had time to prepare their staff and systems and they dropped the ball."


EPIC FAIL - Hadley Murray

"Felt like passengers were being herded like cattle into the main area of Britomart.

People bolted and pushed their way down in a frantic rush to get to the train only to be stopped again for another 20 minutes." The next thing he knew, someone had passed out and about nine paramedics were climbing through the crowd to get to the patient. "When I asked the conductor what was going on I was told 'All trains have been delayed until further notice because someone has passed out'. Sorry guys, looks like we are going to be late to the grand opening of the Rugby World Cup because of one person that officials couldn't organise to be attended to in a way that didn't affect everyone else trying to get to the game. Epic fail."


Flew over from Sydney for the opening match and was on one of the trains stalled in Newmarket.

He said the emergency button in their carriage was pressed at least three times.


"In defence of the people pressing the buttons, the entire train was jam-packed with no room to move and very inefficient air conditioning which was leaving people sweating and some passengers were having difficulty breathing," he said. After forcing himself on to an already packed train at Ellerslie station at 6pm, 15 minutes later they ground to a halt. "There was absolutely no communication from anyone from Veolia, no notifications on their website and despite numerous calls by passengers, conflicting information was always received with the worst being repeatedly told to calm down and understand the situation."