Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Private discussion of canned NYE event

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New Years Eve at the Mount for the years 2012 to 2013. Photo/File
New Years Eve at the Mount for the years 2012 to 2013. Photo/File

Tauranga's new mayor and councillors held a private meeting with emergency services about the canned Mount New Year's Eve event, yesterday.

Speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times soon after the meeting Mayor Greg Brownless said he and the new councillors wanted to know if the right decision had been made.

Mr Brownless said that after hearing from emergency services he was not of a mind to revisit the decision to can the concert. However, he thought it was worth looking at in the future.

"We will no doubt get together - and do it a bit earlier in the piece - and have a look at it again in the fresh light of the new year."

Western Bay of Plenty police area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton and two St John ambulance representatives spoke to councillors-elect at the information-only meeting.

"Police made it clear that over the last few events they noticed the nature of offending was getting worse and worse in terms of assault and serious violence," Mr Brownless said.

Although police could not guarantee 100 per cent safety, they believed it less likely that people would be subject to violence and assault by not holding the concert.

"We don't want the hoons to come, and unfortunately the last two times it seemed to be attracting more and more troublemakers. Police had intelligence that it was likely people were coming back for similar activities this time," Mr Brownless said.

After last year's New Year's Eve event on the Mount beach media reported explicit posts on a Facebook page where young people appeared to boast about sexual exploits on the beach including underage sex and allegations of sexual assault.

Mr Brownless said the midnight fireworks in Tauranga CBD and the under-18s event at ASB Baypark Stadium posed a better chance of seeing a peaceful New Year's Eve.

"The youth event has a single entry and exit with better security. There will be some trouble on the night, you can't expect there to be none, but we hope there will be significantly less - especially for the vulnerable group [under-18s]," Mr Brownless said.

CAN IT: Police have had an information-only meeting with councillors-elect about the decision to cancel the Mount Maunganui New Year's Eve event. PHOTO/FILE
CAN IT: Police have had an information-only meeting with councillors-elect about the decision to cancel the Mount Maunganui New Year's Eve event. PHOTO/FILE

No entry for Bay of Plenty Times reporter

A bid by the Bay of Plenty Times to report the New Year's Eve entertainment meeting with police was foiled after the reporter was not admitted to the secure part of the Civic Building in which meetings were held.

Instead, council communications manager Aimee Driscoll arrived at reception with an explanation on why it was not to be reported.

Mayor Greg Brownless had earlier in the day been given a courtesy call that the Bay of Plenty Times wanted to attend the meeting to report the proceedings because of the high public interest in the topic.

Ms Driscoll said the city's strategic partners were meeting with new councillors for the first time to go over the public reports presented to the former council.

She said the new councillors were wanting to hear the same information.

"It was never intended to be an open meeting."

Ms Driscoll was then asked to take a request to the meeting for the Bay of Plenty Times to be allowed to report the meeting.

Ms Driscoll returned a few minutes later to say there had been a discussion.

She then repeated her earlier statements that it was an informal meeting to talk about information provided in the earlier reports and to allow questions.

She reiterated the earlier offer that Mr Brownless would speak to the Bay of Plenty Times after the meeting had concluded.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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