Their cricketers were defeated by Britain at Sunday’s world cup final and it appears things are on a downward slope for New Zealand which was stripped of a world record yesterday (just not the steepest slope).
Guinness World Records dealt a fresh blow to the already-bruised New Zealand populace, still reeling after last weekend’s loss, when it declared a Welsh street the world’s steepest, a record held by Baldwin Street in Dunedin for 32 years.
And like the controversy surrounding the disputed extra run given to England during Sunday’s game, the Kiwis are also alleging foul play in the steep-street battle.
In 1987, the 350m New Zealand street was awarded the record which has since drawn scores of tourists to the area but Baldwin Street was yesterday usurped by Ffordd Pen Llech in North Wales.The road in Harelech has a gradient of 37 per cent, 2 per cent steeper than the former-record-holder.
However, a Baldwin Street resident has cast doubts over the Welsh road’s eligibility for the record. “They are two completely different streets, the one in Wales in not two-way all the way through and not heavily populated like Baldwin street,” Colleen Williamson who has lived on Baldwin Street for nearly 30 years, told New Zealand media.
Baldwin Street allows two-way traffic and is lined by houses on both sides while Ffordd Pen Llech is a meandering, narrow, residential lane she pointed out.
Critics online disputed that the Welsh lane could be considered a road, with one writing: “By definition the street in Wales is a lane, not a street. It a single lane with no footpaths or parking.”
“That’s not a street, that’s a goat track. Most proportions are hardly enough room for one car. I’m sure we have farm land with tracks on it steeper and more comparable to a road,” another disgruntled Kiwi said.
Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor came to the defence of Ffordd Pen Llech’s yesterday, insisting the Welsh road was the rightful record-holder.
“For the purposes of this record, a 'street' or 'road' is defined as a thoroughfare which is used by the public who have right of access to drive vehicles along it to get from one destination to another,” he told The Telegraph.
For a street to qualify for the title of the world's steepest it must be a public thoroughfare, fully paved and contain buildings running alongside it. The record measurement is based on the highest gradient over a 10m section of road.
Social media users were quick to point out New Zealand’s string of bad luck after the record announcement.
“Clearly not a good week for New Zealand. First the Cricket World Cup is lost and now the world's steepest street goes to Wales.Where will it end for the poor lambs,” Richard Porteous said.
While New Zealander, Michelle wrote: “What a week for New Zealand: we lose the cricket world cup, despite being equal both at the end of the game and the super over, and the title of world's steepest street has been stripped from us and handed to Wales. Oh the humanity!!”
Dunedin mayor, Dave Cull said he believed visitors would still be drawn to Baldwin Street, suggesting it could be re-labelled the southern hemisphere’s steepest road. "The street certainly hasn't got any less steep as a result of the decision," he said.
On the other side of the world, the North Wales town was celebrating its new record yesterday. Gwyn Headley, an architectural historian who campaigned for the record said he felt “utter relief and jubilation” upon hearing the news
"I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders, but steeper is steeper,” Mr Headley said.
"At least they have the Rugby World Cup ... for the moment ..."