It’s ‘music’ to the ears for Kiwis


New Zealand Eden Park will host concerts in the future Image: Eden Park

‘If music be the food of love play on’ – Shakespeare’s famous line from ‘Twelfth Night’ will hold true for Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest sports stadium at capital Auckland, where music will henceforth play on for six concerts in a year, with concomitant surge in revenue, as the stadium was given the green light to hold the same.

The 118-year-old, 50,000-capacity Eden Park is New Zealand’s largest stadium located Central Auckland.

Eden Park sources informed that after the Eden Park Trust’s resource consent application to hold six concerts in a year was made public in December 2019 till April 2020, submissions from the people showed overwhelming support with 94 per cent giving it an `aye’.

Recently, three independent commissioners gave their assent to the resource consent application after carefully considering evidence from the Park Trust and submitters, which also included the expert assessments of technical specialists, before giving their nod.

Eden Park sources added that the approval for six concerts a year was sealed after the deadline to appeal against the earlier resource consent decision passed with no one lodging an appeal with the Environment Court as of 5pm on February 4th, 2021.

A resource consent is the authorization given to certain activities or uses of natural and physical resources required under the New Zealand Resource Management Act (the RMA).

The Park was operating amidst severe restrictions of having to get resource consent for every event it hosted apart from everyday sports events and the costs to secure each individual resource consent increased significantly if the matter was appealed to the Environment Court.

Eden Park authorities thanked the community including neighbors, local businesses, sporting organizations and the entertainment industry for coming out 94 per cent in favor of the six concerts a year application. It is reported that out of the public submissions, 2,966 were in support of staging the concerts and 180 stood in opposition.

Eden Park Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Sautner put in, “We’ve been inundated with messages of congratulations from a range of society. Our community came together to make this decision possible and we couldn’t have done it without each of these individuals.”

Added Sautner, “We are thrilled to have an overwhelming level of support to deliver more experiences for New Zealanders, which further showcases the ongoing positive relationship Eden Park has with its neighbors. I am extremely proud of our staff and supporters who have worked tirelessly to achieve this historic result.”

Eden Park sources further reported that the concerts could take place on weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays preceding a public holiday and public holidays, subject to restrictions on frequency, duration and timing.

The green signal translates into ease of doing business to the extent that Eden Park does not have to apply for a separate resource consent for each individual concert which has proved to be both expensive and time-consuming. It also allows events to be pre-booked, scheduled and confirmed years in advance.

Sautner, who recently stated that the Park had artistes ready to announce shows after the appeal window had closed, can now go ahead with finalizing the dates.

Eden Park sources informed that the report of the panel of independent commissioners’ had stated that granting consent to the application would promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

“That is, it would allow the use of an existing physical resource (Eden Park) in a way that would enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being while sustaining the potential for that resource to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations, safeguard natural resources and avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the environment,” Sautner elucidated.

These events will provide employment opportunities and bring economic boom to Auckland as well as much-needed entertainment experiences for Kiwis.

In order to avoid the identified adverse effects in the Commissioners’ report, the stadium plans to invest significant amounts in a previously consented acoustic barrier to minimize high decibels coming out from the venue thus preventing noise pollution.

Eden Park sources reported that another addition to the stadium will be a large super screen which is expected to ramp up the fan experience at both sporting fixtures and concerts.

Regarding increased traffic flow and other concerns, Sautner opined, “Eden Park is making every effort to meet all concerns about sound, traffic and general amenity, with management plans around vehicle and crowd movements. In terms of managing large crowds and traffic, our stadium is an industry leader, as evidenced by our record through Rugby World Cup finals and other large international competitions.”

Insight Economics research estimated that the concerts would rake in an additional $24.8 million each year in regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from direct and flow-on effects and will create 395 full-time-equivalents (FTEs) jobs and an additional 140 FTEs in subsequent employment.

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