Debunking the EPTB spin


Many of you would have recently received a PR flyer from EPTB in relation to their concerts application. 

In many ways it is very helpful, as it clearly demonstrates how woeful their application actually is with respect to its adverse effects on you
and your community, and why you need to submit opposing it and what it will mean in the long term to your amenity and likely value placed
on that loss of amenity. 

Like the 2-page glossy flyer, the actual detailed application itself is no better at addressing these effects! 

While there are obviously many issues, below briefly are some key points - which shred the credibility of this spin: 


Overview

While EPTB's paid consultants may assess that they can mitigate effects, none of them cover items that address "concert effects" specifically.
All these supposed "mitigations" were known to the recent independent Unitary Hearing Panel, who clearly said EPTB had not proposed any
mitigation regarding concerts, and therefore declined them. 

The overall "spin" around being conditionally allowed concerts is just nonsense. If that was the case, they would have been given a different
status i.e. "Controlled".  Under Controlled status certain conditions could be applied (such as occurs for night games).  They were declined as
"Permitted" or "Controlled" due to the lack of proposed mitigation.  

We note that NO new mitigation is now proposed.  

Concerts only remained in a list of potential activities in case, as mentioned by EPTB, they roofed the stadium at some future date.  

The Acoustic barrier - which should have been installed in 2012 to mitigate crowd noise from the higher stands, demonstrably provides
absolutely NO mitigation for concert noise.  This is because the 75dB (standard NZ Concert noise impact on residential e.g. Mt Smart)
is set beyond the Acoustic barrier and at the boundary of residential properties.  

Therefore, the barrier is irrelevant and provides absolutely no mitigation to a 75dB limit. It only allows for a greater noise level inside the
stadium. 

This smoke and mirrors approach to "mitigation" is a key issue to understand, as it exposes the ethics around this whole application.  
It's an extremely weak RMA case and is why EPTB can only rely on a high profile Auckland wide spin campaign (targeting non impacted people)
to attack your residential amenity and the value placed on that.  


Sound Section. 

Understandably there is an incredibly weak section for what is the major adverse effect. 

To claim noise is to be "minimised" is a ridiculous claim - from what - 100dB or 110dB?  

Especially with such flawed modelling of a minor, non-real-world concert (see our page on noise). 

The nonsense of the acoustic barrier has already been covered above. 

However, to suggest 75dB is OK because Western Springs and North Harbour can do 82dB is insulting to any intelligent person! 

Western Springs has decades of pre-RMA "existing use" rights.  This clearly does not relate to the EPTB situation.  Western Springs is still limited
to 6 events per year, and on Monday to Thursday these must finish at 10pm - earlier than proposed by ETPB.  In addition, the nearby houses are
further back from speakers and far fewer than at Eden Park.  And, in practice, they rarely utilise all of this entitlement anyway. 

North Harbour was a green field stadium, so has a noise limit appropriate to its location that was in place prior to any new residential development.  
Land covenants were then added to recognise and protect that green fields limit - allowing developers to design for this specific situation - for
example, by installing double glazing. 

We note that the overview states there is a "strict 75dB limit".  This again avoids the issue that the limit is based on a 15min average and will
allow a louder maximum at times.  It is of course unenforceable in any meaningful or practical way, as the level is controlled by the acts mixing
desk.  And at any rate EPTB have a long history of ignoring consent conditions and Unitary Plan rules. 

The sound section also conveniently ignores fireworks, aerial displays, helicopters at 140dB, and their imapcts on people and pets.


Traffic. 

This section just relates to the existing Traffic Planning options in the area close to the stadium.  It provides no mitigation for concerts
specifically, and in fact ignores the additional concert adverse traffic and parking effects - including the new concept of full capacity crowds
Mon-Fri for a 6.30pm start. This has never been done before. 

Even where full capacity mid-week was done, it was moved to a later start time than normal - for Rugby World Cup (twice) when Auckland
completely altered its travel patterns - and can't be compared to the ongoing proposed 6 times per year. 

It ignores existing road closures (such as Sandringham Rd), the lack of peak train capacity, and a much wider area being parked-out - which
would be greater than for an All Blacks Saturday night test because of the reduced public transport capacity. 

Traffic plans help patrons but provide no real mitigation for a concert.  


Lighting

Ignores concert light shows, for both rehearsals and the concert itself.   


Economic

A laughably inadequate section.  It is entirely premised on Auckland getting 6 new concerts that currently don't come here! 

The economic benefit is NIL for events that would otherwise be hosted elsewhere - such as Mt Smart, Western Springs, North Harbour or
Spark Arena.  

Even EPTB can't come up with 6 concerts we've been missing out on, and their own material and their various commentators only come up
with examples that have already performed at Mt Smart or Western Springs, or haven’t even toured Australia.

It is also just a "revenue" impact and not the proper cost/benefit required under the RMA - a point highlighted by an economist on the Unitary
Plan panel when it declined to make concerts "Permitted".  Their “impact analysis" ignores all the costs to the economy - including the obvious
ones such as artist and promoter fees which all flow overseas.  Also ignored are the hidden costs on commuters, ratepayers and locals
through direct time and costs incurred. 

Obviously, economics is not an area of expertise for the numerous Herald/NZME commentators that have been rolled out as part of this campaign. 


Social 

Again, a ridiculous section, based on only social "benefits" for some and not the social costs placed on others. 

As with the economic "impact" it is also predicated on Auckland suddenly discovering 6 new artists/concerts that we've been missing out on!
And that is for every single year in the future. 

Again, no proper evidence, only rumour, to support their assertion. And indeed, easily refuted when looking at actual artists tours in Australia
and New Zealand in recent years.  

And of course, we can all still get the social benefits of concert events anyway, by utilising Mt Smart, Spark Arena, Western Springs,
North Harbour and the other multitude of smaller venues. 

In fact, we suspect it will be preferable to get a babysitter and then Uber to Mt Smart than to leave your children at home with the babysitter - to
endure 75dB and above!