Council kiboshes 'illegal' signs

The logos on this Castle St, Dunedin, flat are to be removed. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The logos on this Castle St, Dunedin, flat are to be removed. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

A radio station is accusing the Dunedin City Council of being the ''fun police'' after reluctantly agreeing to remove its logo from a Dunedin student flat.

This comes after the council earlier this year objected to a radio station owned by The Radio Network having its logo on two sides of a Castle St flat as part of a sponsorship arrangement.

Station promotions manager Paul Lawrence said it was unfair it had been singled out when other companies had logos on student flats.

This included a Dundas St flat sponsored by an energy drink brand and another in Clyde St sponsored by a bank, Mr Lawrence said.

After arguing its case, The Radio Network agreed last month to remove the logo - which it would do soon - as it would have cost about $6000 to apply for a resource consent.

''It's a major disappointment for us. We are pretty upset this is how it has come to an end after five or six years of [other flats doing] exactly the same thing.''

The sponsorship did no harm and this was a case of the council being the ''fun police'', he said.

Council resource consent manager Alan Worthington said the issue was clear-cut for the council.

''It was drawn to our attention and basically we were compelled to have a look and they had a choice. They could either apply for consent or remove it.''

The council had assessed the other two flats and, as a result, it had asked for an energy drink logo to be removed from a roof.

''The rest of the flat does not trigger rule breaches that require further action,'' he said.

The other flat had a ''very loose visual association'' with a bank, which did not require any corrective action.

Each of the three flats had been subject to the same level of assessment. On the accusation the council was being the ''fun police'', Mr Worthington said: ''I don't see a sign as being fun.''

It was quite different from the practice of students naming their flats, which was not under threat.

''This is not about naming a flat. It is clearly a marketing exercise. It's a hoarding as defined by the district plan.''

He noted media attention meant the radio station had gained ''plenty of advantage out of the illegal signage''.

I agree

I can't believe it- I actually agree with Speedfreak for once.   This Council decision - and the cost of meeting their demands - is the fun police gone mad.   It was particularly ironic this morning, noticing the signs popping up round town to publicise the Mid-winter Festival.   I suppose the Council paid itself the $6,000 for a resource consent for each of these signs!

Councillors led by nose by bureaucrats

Yet another example of the bureaucrats getting what they want. Make no mistake about it, the bureaucrats - not only in Dunedin - have an agenda to be the ones that make the rules and administer them. They, in their self-serving wisdom, run our lives, telling us what to do and penalising us if we don't march to the beat of their drum.
Dunedin has a genuine problem with a lack of people creating new wealth. But any new interest is extinguished at birth by overbearing bureaucratic cost and obfuscation.
The local councillors, a well meaning but completely ineffectual bunch when it comes to understanding the growing business malaise the city suffers, need to stop the bureaucrats threatening, via the "Precautionary Principle", that unless you politicians do what we say then all hell will break loose.
Stand up politicians. Our plight does not turn on cycleways, does not turn on climate change. It turns on recognition that the tenant is in actual fact the one who pays, is the most important person in the whole equation. Without the tenant you have no business creating new wealth.
Let us stop the bureaucrats telling us how to run our city, because they have proven they don't know how. If they stay behind the wheel much longer Dunedin will undoubtedly suffer terminal damage to its ability to attract new business, which is in fact the lifeblood of a healthy metropolis. [Abridged]


$6000 for resource consent?

No wonder nobody wants to do business in Dunedin. How do you justify that amount, DCC?

Lucky for you i'm not in charge of this radio station. I would shut it down today, just on the principle of it.

Vindictive? Me? Hell yes. 

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