OPINION: I was dismayed, gutted and angry to see New Zealand lose out to Australia in hosting the Rugby Championship.
All this Government had to do was outbid Australia but we handed it to them by demanding an unnecessarily pedantic quarantine process.
Where on earth was our commercial nous, agility, experience and rat cunning? Keep looking.
Imagine it. The best three sides in the world plus the Argies here for two months - it's like a Rugby World Cup from the semis on.
This loss is about way more than rugby - imagine the economic activity, they reckon it would have been worth $100 million to New Zealand.
For desperate pubs, moteliers, restaurants, cafes and taxi drivers this tournament signalled progress, cash and hope.
And for the team of five million, whether you like rugby or not this was crucial to win, a reward for doing a hard lockdown and supposedly doing so well.
But are we? What's the point of a hard lockdown if the spoils go across the Tasman? What a kick in the guts.
This was meant to be the prize at the end of a COVID-19 winter. The first real test of this Government coming out of COVID-19 and it failed. The Aussies put in a bid Sanzar couldn't refuse, and we turned up sucking our thumb.
What a body blow for commerce.
It's easy to offer a Matariki public holiday and spend someone else's money on pay rises for cleaners and security guards but actually delivering an event tomorrow proved too hard.
Duncan Garner is a host of The AM Show.