We won: now move on

Now that the world cup is over, there is some danger that we might have to return to our normal lives.

Of course it is great that we won the cup, and that everyone has had a good time, except the French, the English, the Aussies and the South Africans, but who cares about any of them.

Of course we can pretend that the euphoria of the cup will last forever, but it won't, even if we put the Wallabies All Blacks match on continuous play on a new channel called Channel Victory. Adding the (few) highlights of the final and a montage of appearances by John Key at the games wouldn't help much.

On the positive side the cult of Piri must surely be dead and buried. Who would have thought we'd say thank goodness for Stephen Donald.

A few years ago an internet message doing the rounds had a url to click on, which opened a page with a message like: "This is it. You have reached the last page on the internet. So stop wasting your time and the boss's money and get on with your work."

There are four tests of success for the World Cup. Did we win? Yes we did. Only just, but we did win. Did the locals and visitors enjoy themselves? Yes. Did it come within budget - it seems so, although the budgeted loss of $39m does not include the $200 million plus that local bodies and others have variously invested in facilities to be ready for the World Cup. So only a tentative tick there.

And lastly, will the success of the event have any lasting effect. That means do we get more tourists, more investors, more migrants and more business done because of the connections made during the cup.

That's very problematic. The RWC and the government had a joint programme promoting a Business Club offering connections, venues, support for business events and the like. There's been no puff and blow from any spin doctors about what's been achieved so perhaps not much has been achieved. 

The last time we made a big effort for a sporting event was for the 2005 Lions Tour where we aimed to make every visitor a walking talking advocate for New Zealand and its attractions. Didn't work.  Air traffic from the UK fell in the 12 months following the Lions tour.

The story in immigration and investment was much the same. Lots of good talk, quite a lot of inquiries but no real change in the numbers. It is hard to leverage off sports events to gain more than what is offered by the event itself. It can be done, but it isn't easy.

One thing we might like to contemplate as summer approaches is the cost and the benefits of the very large party we have shouted ourselves as a nation, and thinking beyond just the winning of the Webb Ellis Trophy, there is an election coming up. Perhaps we can now focus on that.