Down to the wire: Show awaits marquee approval

By Lawrence Gullery


Modern-day bureaucracy has gripped the Hawke's Bay A&P; Show which will find out today whether it has a permit for a marquee - just hours before this year's major Hawke's Bay Wine Awards.

It is the first time in the Hawke's Bay Show's 149-year history that it has been required to apply for a building permit to erect a marquee at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds in Hastings.

General manager of the A&P; Society, Brent Linn, said he had to apply for building permits for three marquees while another three were granted exemptions from the Hastings District Council.

"Historically we have not required a permit up until last year when we made an application for an exemption and we were granted one but it still cost us $150," Mr Linn said.

"This year we applied again for exemptions for all of our marquees and it was declined for three of the large ones on site and approved for three of the smaller ones."

A building permit was needed for the 20m by 50m marquee to host the wine awards, a 20m by 40m one for Taste Hawke's Bay and a 60m by 10m one for society members.

The permits might not be signed off until this afternoon when an inspection would make sure the society had measures in place to deal with fire risks and emergency exits.

"This is really an 11th hour type thing as we need a permit but we can't get it until the day the marquee goes up to host the wine awards," Mr Linn said.

"I can see the sense behind it, to meet the regulations for hosting a large number of people, but that needs to be balanced with the real risks with those venues."

Mr Linn said the council had helped with advice on applying for the permits but it had added up to unexpected extra work and cost.

"It has occupied a lot of time for one staff member who could probably have done without it at this busy time," he said.

"But I suppose the council is also trying to comply with its systems as well."

Mr Linn said the three building permits would cost about $350 in total.

He hoped the process would become "pro forma" over the coming years to streamline the work. "Of course I am not happy about the costs, that's about $500 that we have to find somewhere and we are a charitable trust but there's little I can do about it now," Mr Linn said.

"We've got advisers to come in and access the fire risk, advisers to look at our hazardous chemical storage, lots of advisers and that's part of the hidden costs for events like this to comply."

Permits please...

  • The A and P Society has applied for building permits for three marquees at the Hawke's Bay Show this week and have three more ticked off as exempt.

  • Horse of the Year Show organisers have applied for permits for a number of large marquees for its event at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds in Hastings, in March, next year.

  • The Hawke's Bay Racing Centre applied for and was granted consents for two marquees at its Spring Carnival meeting recently.

  • Stalls for exhibitions, fairs, and markets that are less than 100m2 and to be used for no more than one month are also exempt from obtaining a building consent.

  • Regulations require building officers to consider fire safety and the ability of patrons to leave the marquee in the event of a fire when considering whether to grant permission for a marquee.

  • Charges for a permit for a marquee: If an exemption is granted, $150. If a consent is required, between $400 and $500.


- Hawkes Bay Today

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