'Mozart Effect' is music to city retailers' ears (+poll)

By Jenee Tibshraeny


Retailers want classical music such as Mozart played at the city's main bus stop to deter violent criminals.

The quirky idea of having the sounds of classical tunes coming from speakers at the Willow St bus centre has been tabled in an effort to discourage antisocial people who will think the music uncool and move on.

Youth brawls and intimidating behaviour are driving people away from the Willow St bus stop despite police having stepped up patrols in the area since last October.

Troublemakers include people aged under 30, people drinking, the homeless, and gang members.

City councillors are to discuss the issue on March 18.

Bay of Plenty Times reader Stephen Irving contacted the paper suggesting the Mozart idea, saying he had seen it used successfully in England - and local business owners support it.

Cartridge World owner Peter East said it was a novel idea and worth trying.

Tauranga Art Gallery director Penelope Jackson agreed, saying it was the same groups of people congregating by the bus stops at certain times.

The gallery should not have a bus stop near it, she said. Her only reservation was classical music was traditionally used to attract people, not drive them away.

Both she and Mr East expected the council to cover the costs of installing speakers if the idea went ahead.

Mr East said the "council created the problem" by putting the bus stop in Willow St.

One retailer, who asked not to be named, was horrified to see members from three gangs bash a tourist in the street about three weeks ago.

The retailer also saw a man assault his pregnant girlfriend. The man then took a crack at police who arrived with a Taser.

Regular bus user Moana Hadfield, 22, supported the classical music idea.

Christchurch city uses classical music to deter troublemakers in public and Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale said property owners paid for three sets of speakers to be installed. Problems dropped from 300 to 20 in just one week, largely due to the "Mozart Effect".

Tauranga City Council customer and environmental services manager Peter Frawley discussed the issue with police on Tuesday.

He said he was happy to pass the idea on.

Have your say

Should ratepayers pay for classical music at the bus stop? Or is there another solution? Have your say by emailing editor@bayofplentytimes.co.nz. Please include your name in the email. You can also leave a comment below, and vote in the poll. Responses may be published.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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