Auckland's buskers policy stands alone

Auckland City Council's move to hush buskers who repeat songs too often looks unlikely to be followed elsewhere in the country.

A new council policy, coming into effect on Monday, requires Auckland street performers to apply for an annual busking licence.

Among the requirements, performers were asked to develop sufficient repertoire so they could perform without repetition.

"If a performer continues to repeat items they may be asked to cease performing. Performers must immediately comply with this request," the policy reads.

Council spokeswoman Ruth Stokes said the point about repetition was to stop buskers playing the same song over and over again for an hour.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said street performers in the capital also had to obtain a licence for busking, but the council's policies did not refer to repertoire.

"If they're being a nuisance ... they can be moved along and told enough is enough," he said.

However, the council did not have policies about song repetition and was not likely to introduce any , Mr MacLean said.

Christchurch City Council spokesman James Clark said there were no plans to institute a repetition requirement to the busking licences in the southern city.

"Basically the restriction on busking is that they can only stay in one place for an hour. If they're disorderly or get complaints they can be moved on," he said.

"If somebody's playing bagpipes or something like that and they play two or three tunes people may get sick of it, that's probably why the policy outlines for an hour so they end up moving on."

Mr Clark said Christchurch had not really had problems with buskers and very rarely received complaints.

"Most of the buskers are in Cathedral Square or in the malls and people enjoy them. It's entertainment - free entertainment."

- NZPA

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