Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Festival beat not sweet for all

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It is worth an estimated $4.8 million to Tauranga's economy but some locals are not happy about the One Love Festival, organisers say.

The festival, which ran on Saturday and Sunday at Tauranga Domain, boasted big names in New Zealand reggae scene such as Common Kings, Fiji, Tomorrow People, Kora and Sons of Zion.

About 15,000 people attended with an estimated 80 per cent of the crowd coming from out of town.

Click here for a photo gallery of One Love 2016 photos

But the event also attracted a large number of noise complaints, mostly from the Brookfield and Pillans Point suburbs.

One Love event manager Ranui Samuels, of Pato Entertainment, said the crowd numbers included about 400 people from Australia and large numbers from all over the South Pacific, as well as vendors from California.

With event-goers spending an average of $400, that was $4.8 million injected into the Bay economy, he said.

"Pato Entertainment has a strategic focus on bringing these events to Tauranga to grow this place as a centre to be able to host these international events.

"We're really happy across the board in terms of numbers, the number of incidents and management of the overall event. And, of course, the benefit to the overall community."

Mr Ranui said because there were so many people coming from so many different places, they did not want to cause any trouble as they had a lot invested in attending the event.

Waitangi Weekend was a fitting date for the reggae festival because of its ethnic ties.

"Waitangi Weekend is a celebration of ethnicity, of indigenous people, of Maori, and it's Bob Marley's birthday.

"Kotahi aroha, one love - that message has been pushed strongly from the stage."

Tauranga City Council manager environmental monitoring Andrew McMath said 163 complaints about noise from the festival were logged by yesterday morning.

Most came from Brookfield and Pillans Point, but there were also complaints from Matua, Judea and Pyes Pa.

Mr McMath said the festival's consent permitted amplified noise up to 10.30pm on Saturday and 9.30pm on Sunday, and required monitoring of sound levels at regular periods by an independent noise specialist approved by the council.

"Initial conversations with the event organiser ... suggest that the festival has been operating within the noise limit conditions of their consent."

The event organiser must submit a report to the council after the event, and the council would review the noise monitoring reports and wind readings, liaise with the event's technical staff in charge of noise monitoring, and call some of the complainants to ensure it had all the facts, Mr McMath said.

Glenn Meikle, who was in charge of the event's resource consents, said the council had given event organisers strict guidelines, including monitoring noise on the hour for 15 minutes at any spot 100m from the stage.

"We were doing that and it was meeting all requirements of the resource consent. The easterlies blew the sound across the water straight into that side of the city. We were doing readings there as well and still met the requirements."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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