"Even if the wrecked infrastructure, the damaged buildings, hotels and roads in the city centre and the ruined facilities such as sewerage and water can be repaired in record-fast time, there is no way any World Cup games can be played in the city.
"That is the harsh, brutal truth but it has to be said," Bills wrote in a column for the Independent Group of newspapers. "It just cannot happen ... It is tragic for Christchurch."
We reckon that Bills is taking an exceeding pessimistic view. We truly hope that RWC games in the Garden City can be salvaged.
And we received this comment overnight from one of our Facebook friends, Tony Sharpe - he wrote:
"Yep - we want this cup here, for our tourist industry. 90% of Canterbury is currently fine, and open for business. As I have posted elsewhere: Tourism in Canterbury is one of our biggest earners and Rugby World Cup has a Lord of the Rings type advertising effect. It is CRUCIAL we pull out all the stops and remind the world that while the City is broken and bashed, the rest of this proud province is unaffected and open for business and has many many attractions. Hamner, Metven, Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass, Tekapo, Geraldine, Timaru, Ashburton- all have accomodation available to use and are within a bus trip of the venue. We just need to get that stadium right, and sort accomodation options. We will open our homes and make this an event the world won't soon forget. We must make this happen."
We agree; it's much too soon to slam the door on Christchurch's hosting of RWC games. The RWC could be the ideal opportunity to re-launch Christchurch and Canterbury to the world.
The economic hit of games being moved away would be a major blow to Chrustchurch's earthquake recovery, and we reiterate the view that we expressed yesterday - the people of Canterbury need something to look forward to. They have had a miserable six months, but that doesn't mean that things cannot improve in the next six.
If, after all factors have been taken into consideration it is decided that Christchurch cannot host RWC games, then so be it. But the decision, once made will be irreversible, so it must not be made in unecessary haste.