The decision to abandon the "Million Babies" Waitangi Day LifePod Appeal concert at Eden Park has been applauded by concert opponents, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Clark spoke on Newstalk ZB this afternoon after The Eden Park Trust announced its decision to abandon the concert due to time and money constraints.

A Mount Eden resident, she said she was relieved the concert had been ditched.

Clark had publically voiced her disapproval for the event, earlier stating the concert was being used as a "Trojan horse" to provide a precedent for future music concerts.


"When I looked at that proposal with no noise limits, the thought of the disruption with the trucks and trailers trundling through for set up and taking down, and of course the precedent set for the future of concerts, those were the grounds for in which I put an objection," she said.

"Events like this have not had permission before. I think Eden Park deliberately put this up to see if they could get it through under the application being for a charity.

"The charity could have always taken the concert proposal to Mt Smart which has roughly the equivalent seating at 45,000 seats – but instead it allowed itself to be used as a test case for the park."

Clark said she felt the Trust's decision to abandon the concert due to time constraints and court costs was "disingenuous".

"There was always going to be objections, so for the park to say now that it was forced to withdraw, I think is somewhat disingenuous."

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was very relieved the concert had been boycotted. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was very relieved the concert had been boycotted. Photo / Mark Mitchell

She would continue to oppose any similar proposal at the stadium.

"You have here, a traditional sports stadium in the middle of a densely populated residential area so... it is not a suitable venue to be developed as a major entertainment hub.

"Once you let one go then there is the next and the next and it becomes established use.


"Eden Park is a sport venue and if they want something else then take it to a downtown site where you could have an entertainment venue at scale."

Clark said attention now needed to look to the future and where such events could be held.

"Whether it is improvements at Mt Smart or to a central business districts stadium with all the transport roots coming in from ferry, train, bus and motorway etc," she said.

At the start of the week, the Eden Park Trust's lawyers advised that the process to obtain a consent for the concert was likely to stretch beyond October and cost in excess of $750,000, not including the trust's legal costs.

Trustees then met and concluded that it was not viable for the stadium to continue with its application due to the likely costs and timeframe for court proceedings.

Plans for the Live Aid-style concert were announced by Sir Ray Avery, a former New Zealander of the Year, in the hopes of raising money in an effort to help save babies around the world.

Avery wants to build enough LifePod incubators to save a million babies and the concert was the first step in raising the $4 million needed to make 2000 pods.

Chief executive Nick Sautner said the trust had hoped to work with the minority who objected "to reach an agreement for a one-off worthy event".

"Although we respect the process in place, to bring events like concerts to our stadium we also have to work in with promoters' lead times which include confirming the venue as well as securing ticket on-sale dates."

"Unfortunately this time it was unworkable but we now look to the future to ensure this half a billion dollar asset can host unique and memorable events for the city."

Avery could not be reached.