New Zealand is officially a secular state, it’s main religion is rugby and absolution may be found through sport, but this is taking things a little too far even in a country with a Godzone complex.
St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington is displaying a painting by local artist, Don Little entitled, “New Zealand Icon”. It shows the figure of an All Black in the style of a Jesus icon.
“Central to Christian belief is the fact that God became a human being, he became a man,” cathedral dean the Very Rev Frank Nelson said.
“We often call New Zealanders God’s own, so it would be completely logical that if Jesus did come back he would be an All Black.
“It’s painted in the very traditional Orthodox Christian style of painting, designed as an aid to prayer, so the idea is that it engages your attention but then takes you beyond the painting to God.”
All well and good but there is zero chance of Richie McCaw offering up his other cheek next time he worships with Quade Cooper, neither are Kiwis likely to forgive their enemies in their quest for the holy grail (Webb Ellis cup) This whole icon thing has been badly thought out though hasn’t it – we all know what happened to Christ in the final game. Fortunately he came back for a rematch, the All Blacks may not be so blessed.
Artist Don Little told the Dom Post he painted the $3,000 icon after wondering whether rugby had become the new religion in a country that had largely turned away from the faith. Great to see a price being put on that statement.
Coming to a hotel room near you – Godzone
But wait that’s not all, a chapter of the bible has received the rugby treatment too. Apparently Luke was chosen for a rework because it contains the popular nativity scene (with a baby Jesus in an All Black romper?) and the story of a lost sheep which gives it a New Zealand flavour.
History does not tell us if the sheep was black.
“Godzone is a re-vamped version of the Gospel of Luke, featuring the entire text of the New Testament chapter interspersed with the life stories of 10 international players whose lives have been transformed by their Christian faith.
Past and present players – including All Black Thorn, Fijian captain Deacon Manu, Black Fern Doris Taufateau, Scottish prop Euan Murray, Wallabies flanker David Pocock and former captain Nick Farr-Jones – describe their paths to faith in the book, of which 25,000 copies have been published…” more here source
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“New Zealand is a wonderful country, but it is also a country which I think has some very poor values as well…The fact is that you still rate things like the America’s Cup, the All Blacks and the cricket (as) being far too important when actually they don’t fundamentally improve human wellbeing…You do some fantastically good science and it’s really sad that at the moment your Kiwis are in my laboratory. You are exporting the wrong things, you’re exporting your talent, the very talent which might prop up your economy. But there’s no future for them in this country“… more
The NZ Herald has invited its readers to have their say on the opening night of the 2011 rugby world cup in Auckland, this is a sample of the responses to
“Did you celebrate the Rugby World Cup opening? Tell us your experience”
Most of them were overwhelmingly negative:
“Very disappointed at the organization. The public transport *system* totally failures and people’s behavior on the streets were appalling. Look at all the shattered beer glasses in the CBD!”
“public transport a shambles”
“Opening Ceremony amazing, Eden Park atmosphere fantastic, crowd control for queens wharf and downtown Zero. Public transport a complete shambles, walked home with family from game as a last resort. Will drive or taxi for rest of tournament.”
“whose stuff up was this?”
“It’s strange that there were well over 100,000 people downtown but only 15,000 were allowed on to Princess Wharf, the main venue. Lots and lots of disappointed people including many who had flown here from overseas. Whose stuff-up was this? The best part of ther event was the Tongan supporters – what a crazy, colourful, happy bunch of people! They made the day for thousdands of us and didn’t cost a cent, much better than the expensive acts we never got to see.”
“transportation balls up“
Lots of emotions around the opening. Tellingly the only emotion absent about the complete and utter balls up of transportation, was surprise.
Any bets on the chance someone will actually be held accountable for such gross incompetence?
“public transport system a joke“
I have to say “I told you so” in regards to the public transport(or rather lack of it)in Auckland yesterday.I may as well have yelled to the wind to stop blowing.The powers that be would never
listen to what Aucklanders truly felt about the public transport system.As was expected the preparation was probably on a “She’ll be right” approach.The AC and various other organisations would have anticipated what volume of people to decend upon the Waterfront and Eden Park.For example if 15,000 people were expected at the Party Central then double or triple that number overall.Don’t merely think exactly 15,000 people will attend.As per usual the public transport *system* of Auckland will again be viewed as a joke.The AC and others have had enough years to prepare for the RWC.They knew how many people would be coming into NZ but as per usual did nothing.
Anyway we enjoyed a panoramic view of the fireworks.Very well done
“Only trying to do the right thing”
Myself and my 9 yr old son travelled 4hours down from the Bay of Islands? As there had been so much press recommending the use of public transport we headed to the Albany Park and Ride.
We arrived at the Albany site at 2pm to find it already full. The NZTA staff rep stopping cars coming into the entrance to the car park told us to park in an NZTA owned paddock next to the site,
which we did, alongside what must have been over a hundred other cars. There were no warning signs on this site that said there was no parking allowed. We came back to the site after the game to find the car missing. It had been towed to another compound less than 2 km away and I was charged $230 to have it released. The NZTA should be ashamed of themselves. We were simply following directions given to us by their staff, trying to do the right thing and use public transport and feel that the spirit with which they have acted is appalling. How about a public comment
on that Mr Len Brown?
“Drunken youths, kids injured”
Mum, Dad, two young teens & an 11 year – destination waterfront.
Train from Sylvia Park at 4:20, arrived in town at 6:30
One person fainted on the train, kids walk past person prostrate on platform, chest bare, surrounded by medical staff.
Toilets – too few, crowds – lots, well behaved so far. Finn brothers as good as I remember them. Fireworks seemed great, but large buildings behind & containers & hoardings against the iron fence of the water front meant view was obscured.
8:10 – fireworks over, out of here. People unable to move, youths, becoming increasingly drunk as the night progresses, pushing past all & sundry causing havoc in their wake. Daughter gets burnt by someone’s cigarette, son gets squashed and arm twisted by barging idiot – he’s trying not to cry. The haka is still on the big screen.
I feel worried – can’t control the environment around the kids, if someone falls, the crowd will feel the release in pressure and surge. Try not to think about it.
1 hr – no trains. Man spews next to son. 2 more hrs – no buses. Bus to anywhere, catch taxi to train station, get car. Home – 1:20 am.
We planned for this Len, it wasn’t an earthquake – fail. Sorry kids.
“Disappointed by the reality”
Why invite 10′s of thousands to a party when the venue only holds 12,000 ? Result was thousands upon thousands of people wandering around town with nothing to see or do. Food & drink very hard to come by, toilets likewise. Having impressed on my kids the once in a lifetime nature of last night they were very disappointed by the reality.
Plus points ? The fireworks (from Parnell Rose Gardens) were excellent, the weather perfect.
Lots more here
We were saddened to hear that another tourist has fallen foul of New Zealand’s criminal element. It looks like word still isn’t getting out about the high levels of crime in New Zealand.
In today’s Herald
“A tearful Chilean tourist has had the laptop computer containing her life’s work stolen – barely a kilometre away from Auckland International Airport. Graphic artist Macarena Barra, in New Zealand for a one-year working holiday, picked up her parents from the airport this week.
They checked into the Kiwi Motel near to Auckland Airport, Mangere, and on Thursday left their bags in the room while they headed for a day trip to Waiheke Island…”
When they returned to the Kiwi Motel that night they found the room had been broken into. The laptop and hard drives, containing five years worth of photos, drawings and animations were gone, ruining Macarena Barra‘s chances of finding a job back in Chile.
The reaction of staff at the Kiwi Motel surprised us.
Firstly, Macarena said
“They told me there’s been five thefts in six months.”
Motel owner Ajay Sone said he had employed a company to carry out security checks since the theft and was in the process of getting cameras installed. “We try to be vigilant but people need to take initiative on their part as well,” he said. “We suggest they leave anything valuable at reception.”
It took five thefts before the hotel thought about increasing security, wasn’t that leaving it a bit too long?
Want to know more about the Kiwi Motel? check out its Trip Advisor ratings, starting with “Somebody stole my sister’s laptop in this motel and nobody cares” and another one of those stories of people who booked for the rugby world cup only to find that their booking had been cancelled :
We booked accomodation at this hotel (called Kiwi International Airport Hotel when we booked). We paid a deposit to secure a one night stay. We were notified several months later by new management that they had cancelled our booking. Furthermore, they were not prepared to provide a refund on our deposit. They were also not prepared to provide a suitable answer as to why they had cancelled our booking, although as it is during the world cup and we had booked for one night only it is not hard to conclude why. In our view the prospect of gaining a few extra dollars appeared far more important than customer relations.
If you are willing to run the risk of being treated in the way that we were then consider the Auckland Airport Kiwi Hotel, but note that 45% of the 71 reviews listed in this link consider this hotel to be terrible or poor – be warned!
- Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
It’s no good asking guests to leave everything valuable at reception because, frankly, hotel receptions probably don’t have the capacity or the capability to look after such large amounts of valuable items. Look through your belongings next time you take a trip, how much of that could you realistically leave behind a hotel reception desk for the duration of your stay?
We have a far better solution, which anyone travelling to New Zealand during the rugby world cup would be well advised to pay heed to:
1. Don’t take anything valuable to New Zealand, or anything that you don’t mind losing. It’s just not worth the risk.
2. Keep a look out for signs warning you about leaving belongings unattended. Leave nothing in your car at supermarket or hotel car parks, shopping centres, public parks, tourist attractions or other locations where thieves know that tourists are likely to hang out.
3. Don’t be fooled into thinking that New Zealand has a low rate of crime, or that is is ‘safe’. We have written countless times about tourists, students and sports teams being targeted in New Zealand. It’s not as safe as you think.
For more blogs about tourist safety in New Zealand click here – Tourist Safety
All posts tagged NZ not as safe as you think
All posts tagged Chilean Tourists
Have you had a rotten hotel experience in New Zealand, or had your rugby world cup booking cancelled? Please leave a message for us below.
English rugby today struck a blow at the heart of a nation’s collective national identity by announcing that the jersey for its away team will change to black.
The decision is sure to unnerve New Zealand who have adopted black as the unofficial national colour ever since a British journalist coined the name “All Blacks” in the early part of the last century. Black now forms the underlying theme of New Zealand’s Nation Branding, and not just for its sports teams. It now adorns everything from passports to baby clothes.
One major problem with this adherence to image is the sense of confusion and loss when someone else takes a part of it as their own. It gives England a significant psychological advantage and is a brilliant move on their part.
The story was broken by the UK’s Daily Mail
“The England rugby team will wear an all black strip when they kick off their World Cup campaign against Argentina in New Zealand.
The decision to wear the new ‘away’ strip for their opening pool match in Dunedin on September 10 is certain to ruffle a few Kiwi feathers and could even spark a diplomatic row with the host nation before a ball has been kicked.
Both the shirt and the shorts of the new strip are jet black with no other colour except for the Red Rose badge…”
A diplomatic row over something as ubiquitous as a colour, surely not? A country can’t own a colour. Can it?
The Mail goes on to say that the strip will be worn for England’s warm ups and opening match against Argentina. Intriguingly, the shirt will also display Maori symbols and decorations, presumably with the consent and the blessing of the iwi concerned. Nobody wants a repeat of the furore over the Mike Tyson tattoo, do they?
In the unlikely event that New Zealand should meet England in the field of battle the English team say they will revert to wearing their traditional white shirts.
No word yet as to whether the new ‘all blacks’ will be performing their own haka, or whether they’ll go for something more exciting.
The decision has caused a lot of controversy, including a slamming from ex All Black legend Jonah Lomu who said “I will find it pretty weird to look across the paddock and see them run out not wearing that famous white uniform.”
“French players are surprised and disappointed at the behaviour of Dunedin rugby fans who pelted them with bottles following last Saturday’s Test defeat of the All Blacks .
A spokesman said the team has laid no complaint with New Zealand or Otago Rugby Football Union (ORU) officials but lock Sebastien Chabal and first five-eighth Francois Trinh-Duc on Wednesday said the players were stunned to have to dodge missiles as they celebrated their 27-22 first Test win.
As a team they lapped Carisbrook to show their appreciation to French supporters, only to be showered with plastic bottles – most of them full or half-full – by the crowd on the terrace, which featured large numbers of students. Some players reportedly had to duck or jump to avoid being hit…”more here
Fans throwing bottles at Dunedin, June 2010
The Auckland Tramways Union says the $2 million upgrade of bus stops along the city’s Karangahape Road for the Rugby World Cup will lead to more assaults.
The union says a two-metre space between the upgraded shelters and motorway barrier will mean people can hide behind them and lie in wait for passengers, bus drivers or pedestrians. source
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“In order to help build an image, a country needs to be coherent in its visuals: from the flag to the colors of the sports teams, from stamps to banknotes, from passports to road signs. A country should find and keep a consistent look & feel in shapes, color schemes and typographies. Identify a national visual identity and color palette and dress with it. Almost always.”
Only The All Blacks Can Wear Black With Pride?: John Key carelessly snubs other NZ national sporting teams