Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pull the Plug on Public Powerpoints

Last year my band thought it would be a good idea to play an impromptu gig along the waterfront in Tauranga, where the council had spent millions of ratepayer dollars to make it look nice, including a STAGE - Perfect for what I had in mind, and possibly designed exactly for what we proposed to do - entertain the public and help attract people to the downtown area.

I approached the council for permission to use the stage, which to my knowledge had almost never been used before, or if it had, very infrequently.

The council wanted to CHARGE US to use the stage, and have access to the power provided to the site.

At this point I told them that if it was going to start costing US to perform and entertain the public there, then we were not prepared to do that, and I walked away from the negotiations.

I later received an email from an acquaintance who works at the council, who got word of our proposal, and managed to get the council to waive the charges, so we proceeded with our performance.

It was a great success, and we entertained the public for around 4 hours, attracting a sizeable crowd throughout the day.

ANYWAY, below is an email I received from the council person with whom I was originally negotiating with concerning use of the stage, or EDGEWATER FAN as they call it.

I have removed the names of the councillors concerned

This is the internal email to the councillor suggesting he waive the fee

Hi XXXXXXXX - I would like to see more of this type of entertainment in the
CBD. It has wide appeal to age groups etc so I will meet any costs for
power etc.


To Graham

The Vic (Visitor Information Centre) have a standing charge of $10 per day for the use of these

I believe they also usually wave the charges for short or "low key" events like yours. That is up to their discretion.

The reason for these charges is:

The Council (as you point out- that's ultimately you the rate payer)
provided these waterproof and safe powerboxes at considerable cost- not
to mention the ongoing cost of repairs due to vandalism AND (the real
killer) a daily supply charge (care of Trustpower) for powerboxes,...
the total yearly cost of the supply charges for 3 phase
power to this site alone is $1400.

We have to provide high capacity 3 phase power here to accommodate the
arc welders and heavy equipment that those people working on their boats
use...also, entertainers often use multiple amplifiers and in the
evenings, lightshows.

These usually draw a load of more than ten amps in
total, therefore the legal requirement (under electricity regulations) for 3 phase supply.

This is paid for by you, the ratepayer,...regardless of it being used
regularly or not.

If the bulk of our ratepayers knew the true and actual
costs of providing public power supplies for promoters to use they'd
(excuse the pun) happily "pull the plug" on the lot of them.

You are welcome to use the venue. It is booked for you. The keys are
available for you to collect anytime during office hours.


Post a Comment

<< Home