Peter Bills: New Zealand play host to the rip-off World Cup
Heading for New Zealand and the 2011 World Cup? Be prepared for a shock. The rugby-mad nation at the far end of the earth, isolated from just about everywhere, looks likely to become just another of the world's great rip-offs.
The country that used to wear a warm smile on its face, welcome visitors and treat them like royalty, is sleep walking into acquiring such an unwanted reputation worldwide.
The price of ordinary everyday articles and living costs horrified me on a trip there this year. I've been there, admired the place and loved the people since 1975. I wasn't even put off by my first ever weekend in New Zealand -- seven inches of rain in 24 hours and sitting shin-deep in water at Eden Park as the All Blacks aquaplaned past Scotland.