Auckland's Eden Park fighting to host concerts

For a long time Eden Park’s been synonymous with the All Blacks, but now it’s fighting to host concerts.

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A new proposal would mean the Auckland stadium would be granted consent to hold up to six concerts a year. Source: 1 NEWS

The Eden Park Trust Board wants the right to stage six concerts a year, without having to seek individual planning permission.

Kiwi band Six60’s already put their hand up to be the first band to play in the history of the stadium.  

But the proposal’s been met with mixed reaction from its local neighbourhood; with 2966 in support, 10 neutral and 180 against.

Today was the last day of the week long hearing at the Auckland Town Hall where a panel listened to more than a 100 people submit their cases.

Eden Park Chief Executive Nick Sautner was represented by Russell Bartlett QC.

Speaking to the panel on Monday, Sautner touched on the economic benefits the park brings to the community.

"Eden Park’s been the largest facility to hold an event in the world post covid."

He said events at Eden Park deliver 3000 direct jobs on an event day.

"A staff member approached me and said 'the difference between a shift at Eden Park is the difference between my children having shoes on their feet for the first day of school', that’s the impact we can have by delivering six concerts," he told the panel.

But issues still remain around concerts being held on successive nights, as well as a limit on the number of concerts that may be held within a time frame.

Those details aren’t of huge importance to the Eden Park Resident’s Association who is on board with the proposed six events.  

Member Shona Tagg lives nearby with her young family.

"Eden Park is a vibrant asset to our community. It's the reason many of our members have moved into this neighbourhood, we want to hear it being used and the fun noises coming out of it," she told 1 NEWS.

"It's only six times a year. If I'm not happy with the artist I can make plans. We get told well in advance when a concert is happening, I can always make plans to go visit friends or family."

But not everyone wants to have to avoid their home, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark. She's in the Eden Park Neighbours Association who opposes the idea.

On Wednesday she told the panel the attempts over the years by Eden Park to broaden its range of activities present a significant threat to the residential community.

"Lives can be impacted by the noise and disruption caused by concerts in many ways. Our community members include older and disabled people, children and adults who need to be able to enjoy their homes. The imposition of a cacophony of sound from concerts represents a profound disruption to our lives," she said.

Clark said Auckland Council already had adequate hosting facilities, like Mt Smart and Western Springs.

Mark Donnelly been president of EPNA for 25 years and told 1 NEWS the noise is the biggest concern.

"It's like being asked to blast 80 decibels of noise into your house," he said.

Eden Park says the expansion of events would provide financial sustainability, as well as providing major economic benefits to the wider Auckland region.

Eden Park Trust called in Fraser Colgrave who spoke on the economic effects.

After reading submissions, Colgrave said it was apparent homeowners were concerned about decrease in property value in the case more events were granted.

"I cite literature from overseas showing the proximity to Eden Park might increase property values, not decrease," he said.

But there's been questions raised around this.

"The economic benefits Eden Park Trust assets would occur would be benefits to it, rather than to the region," she told the panel.

Auckland Council has three weeks to either accept or reject the proposal.