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Debate rages over cause of crowd behaviour

Published: 7:46PM Monday November 08, 2010 Source: ONE News

The issue of New Zealand's binge drinking culture is once again being raised after the alcohol fuelled and unruly behaviour that marred the weekend's rugby league games at Eden Park.

Police made six arrests and evicted a number of people during the event, after what the Prime Minister called "loutish-type behaviour".

Many readers were at the game and felt the same way as John Key, with messageboard user 'Porrik' saying it was a "sad night".

"We were intimidated by the uncontrolled crowd who were more interested in the many fights elsewhere in the stands. We were deafened by 100 decibel entertainment noise. As soon as the Mexican wave started, we felt endangered. We were sprayed with beer, and full bottles rained down around us. Also a heavy aerosol hooter dropped right next to us, and we left, joining a large crowd retreating for their lives, well before full time. Hundreds of us. A very sad sight. Never again."

Mt Eden resident 'Bta' was also unimpressed.

"After the game, tens of thousands of beer cans and bottles were scattered across neighbours' lawns, on top of fences, tucked into any space you could imagine and still there is broken glass and cans on the surrounding streets. As an unfortunate neighbour to Eden Park, I have to say if you repeat the previous failed experience, we are going to get everyone together and take you, Eden Park management, to court!"

Another reader agreed.

"What a complete embarrassment...and not again! News like this will travel globally and you wait, the opinion will be 'how on Earth does NZ expect to host world events if this is how the 'fans' behave?. I am a NZer living in the UK and I attended the test match between England and the All Blacks and while alcohol was bought and drunk in the stands during the game, at no stage were there any incidents of thuggery from supporters - a family atmosphere was maintained. Grow up!" commented 'Tuffywendon'.

Some readers said the scenes over the weekend would not, however, be seen during the Rugby world Cup next year.

"I can't believe the ridiculously blinkered, mis-informed opinions being spouted here. The sort of behaviour exhibited by the league supporters at the weekend will not be seen during the RWC because Rugby Union is followed by a totally different fan base, it's as simple as that. Do not tar the supporters of our great game with the same crappy brush as a league fan, " said 'Camabb'.

'ScottB' agreed.

"The behaviour by the league public on Saturday night has very little relevance to what will happen at the RWC. Rugby tests at Eden Park are always an event I'd take my kids to and the amount required to pay for RWC seats will mean people are there to watch the games and not just cause trouble."

Meanwhile, it is hoped new liquor laws tabled in parliament today, will help fight the country's binge-drinking problems.

Proposed laws include a split drinking age, with 18-year-olds able to drink in bars, but not able to buy from liquor stores until they are 20. A conscience vote will be held on that issue.

However one reader disagrees with that proposal.

"Changing the age will make no difference. Make it less available. Take it out of supermarkets and go back to wholesalers and responsible outlets. More penalties for selling to underage kids,and penalties to anyone supplying to underage kids. Maybe a special card to prove age when buying. Need to get this problem under control. Adults are as bad as the kids and need to get a grip. Sports like Saturday was a disgrace to see. I was not proud to be a Kiwi,"  said 'Tomolly'.

'Yellowmorgan' however thinks the law change may have an impact.

"Increase the drinking age to 20 at liquor stores. Reduce access to alcohol to liquor stores only i.e. stop supermarkets from selling and advertising cheap beer right next to the fruit and vege aisles!"

The Alcohol Reform Bill could have its first reading as soon as next week, and will then go to a select committee for six months for public submissions.

What did you think of the Eden Park fiasco? Do you think new liquor laws will change anything? Leave your thoughts on our message board below.

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  • 14dux said on 2010-11-12 @ 10:14 NZDT: Report abusive post

    What the hell is wrong with throwing some plastic bottles in the air! i was at an all blacks game in hamilton 2 years ago and there was a mexican wave and bottles were thrown in the air and onto the feild, no media reports on that one. Sure i think it was uncalled for to boo the ozzys and throw bottles on the feild. but atmosphere makes a game!

  • 14dux said on 2010-11-12 @ 10:07 NZDT: Report abusive post

    If they going to raise it why break it up(18 and 20), just raise the whole lot to 20. new zealand will always be a binge drinking culture, its how we are brought up and 1 generation cant change that....

  • panthernz said on 2010-11-12 @ 08:46 NZDT: Report abusive post

    ge the government is gutless they attack smoker yet do not a lot about the auchole problem i gess to main drink so they don't want to lose votes the should put the cost up as its cheaper than smoke but does more damaged to our people

  • Sue288 said on 2010-11-08 @ 21:26 NZDT: Report abusive post

    To all those blaming league supporters, I challenge you all to come to a Warriors game at Mt Smart, in all my years as a supporter I have never witnessed anything like I did on Saturday. Yes they sell beer at the game and yes they also have the mexican wave but they do not throw objects into the air to come raining down on other supporters

  • Sue288 said on 2010-11-08 @ 21:19 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I was at the game and virtually from the start there was no atmosphere. I was not particulary happy with the seating. 6 people in front on 5 seats. which blocked the miminal view we had. The mexican wave took a few attempts to get going, should have been stopped before it started and alot of the bottle throwing would have never happened. Why alcohol is sold at a sports events I will never understand. As for security what a joke.... I could go on. All I can say I am embarassed to be an aucklander