Friday, 16 July 2010


Like most of the nation we have read the rather vitriolic column in the Herald of English writer Peter Bills.

Remember, he is a sports writer and most sports writers we know are purveyors of such fine things as beer and burgers.

Funny, we swear could hear the slight pommie whine in the voice of his column as he slammed us for being rip off central.

Well, we think he does make some good points but some of his assessments are a crock of shit.

There are those who see an opportunity in the up coming Rugby World Cup. People are renting out their homes and Marae. Some will make money and some will lose their undies.

Events like this are very much driven by market forces.

We remember the ticket scalpers in the pub selling their wares to desperate poms during the Lions Tour. The pub patrons turned on the seller to ensure that the pom got a decent deal. Sort of market forces tempered with a collective moral compass.

As for the prices of wine? Well Bills does have a point. Spy Valley sauvignon blanc 2009 is priced anywhere between $38 and $45 a bottle in Wellingtons top eateries but you can get it wholesale for as low as $14 a bottle.

What we dont like is paying more than $30 for something that was bought for about $7 bucks. Thats a rip off and probably crap wine. And take it from us there is a sea of crap New Zealand white wine out there - some of it is so thin and so sweet it doesn't even qualify as a sauvignon blanc. Its just medium white plonk.

But it is the food that we think will be the big test. Our best restaurants are outstanding and well worth supporting but there is a sea of very average ones out their charging huge money for crap.

Like the ones who bulk out Seafood chowder with surimi. - absolute junk food ( a totally processed product that is often less than 15% fish) - and then they have the audacity to charge you $15 bucks for it.

And dont get us started on the service. A well known restaurateur was telling us the other night that he finds it difficult to get front of house staff to run busy Friday nights. He says that it is the most coveted role in the trade and if you love food and wine it allows top personalities to create a show worthy of the ingredients. A chance to be the master of the craft. In Europe someone would eat your arm off for the role, Here - its tough to find someone with that passion.

Accommodation is the same - clean is good - spotless is better. We get clean most times, spotless is heaven.

So while we think there will be people out to make a quick buck during the cup, many will come unstuck. Its that market forces thing.
We also think that the competition will be fierce for the punters bucks so good deals rather than over priced crap may well be the norm. While there are those who will tour the country spending huge money on the best that this country can offer, the majority of the people who will be coming here for the event will be average Mr and Mrs's who will just want value for money.

And if you attend any big events overseas the accommodation and often food and booze is priced accordingly. So we will undoubtedly be no different and the visitors will expect some of that.

The thing New Zealanders need to remember is that people will pay good money for the good things.

Its paying good money for crap that people the world over hate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vitriolic??? Hardly. Bills is merely pointing out what most of us have known for a long time.
At least the Frogs have good wine and cheese at reasonable prices. We pay overs for locally produced meat, dairy products, wine etc.
Holidaying in France I was amazed at how cheap the products available in NZ were in French supermarkets, things like Kronenbourg, Baby Belle etc.