i hear there's going to be this rugby world cup thing next year. well actually i've heard about as much about it as i want to, and there's quite a while to go yet. yes, i'm one of those who's just not into rugby, so not enthused about the mayhem and madness that will take over the country for some weeks next year.
i understand this event is supposed bring $2.1 billion worth of economic benefit to the country, although there seem to be conflicting opinions on that. the benefits seem to be mostly indirect, in terms publicity & promotion of nz as a tourist destination.
what ever way you look at it, this is a commercial venture. it's certainly not a charitable one, and someone, somewhere will be making a heap of money from this. i suspect that "someone" will be the IRB, if other international events are anything to go by. and the tv networks. and the construction sector & hospitality people. if there wasn't money to be made, the thing wouldn't be happening every four years, after all.
so i really don't understand, in amongst all the hundreds of millions moving from here to there, why this event needs free labour from 5,000 volunteers. no other commercial venture would get away with labour without wages on this scale. i certainly don't think it can be justified if there are profits anywhere, made by anyone, that could be rightfully applied to the work done by these volunteers.
these projected benefits shouldn't just go into the hands of business. they should be shared by all those who put their time towards making the event a success. i hate the way volunteering for the world cup is being presented as some kind of charitable cause. i want to know exactly who is getting the benefit of such charity - i think everyone deserves to know that. because if people have time and energy to put towards a cause, i can think of many much better causes than this one.