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Council says small group ruined the hard work

Gisborne District Council is very concerned about the disturbances at the BW camping ground on New Year’s Eve, says chief executive Judy Campbell.

“The council is appalled that a small group of mischief-makers was able to spoil what had been up until that point a well-behaved and successful event,” she says.

“It must have been very scary for those young people who were caught up in the event.”

The council commends those young people who maintained good behaviour and carried on to have a more festive end to the concert at R&V, Mrs Campbell says.

“The council will be working with the police and organisers to ensure that this type of behaviour does not take root and is not repeated.”

There have been comments on the council role as the issuer of the liquor licence and the resource consent, she says.

“The District Licensing Committee has no control over what liquor licence the organisers apply for.

“BW had applied for an on-licence but then withdrew that application after huge pressure from their concert-goers.

“That being said, it is clear that those who were determined to make trouble would have done so, no matter what the licensing arrangements.”

The council’s main responsibility is the leasing of the land used as the campground, she says.

“We will certainly be looking to ensure that the organisers that lease the land from us take every possible action to avoid this happening again.”

All parties, BW Summer Festival and Rhythm and Vine organisers, police, St John Ambulance, the council, fire service and Tairawhiti Health, had worked hard to make a good environment at the campgrounds, Mrs Campbell says.

“Unfortunately, a small group inside the camp have decided that bad behaviour is not only acceptable but one that they strive for.”