Busker bylaw ‘status quo’: council

Dunedin busker Jackson Caine may not be able to play in his usual spot in Albion Lane if a...
Dunedin busker Jackson Caine may not be able to play in his usual spot in Albion Lane if a proposed bylaw goes ahead. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The Dunedin City Council says its proposed Trading in Public Places Bylaw will not have a negative impact on busking.

Fringe Festival director Gareth McMillan last week said he was concerned the proposed changes would have a "chilling effect" on busking and street performers. He was concerned particularly about possible new rules for permissions, distancing and time limits.

He was disappointed to have only found out about it a week before consultation closed.

Council group manager customer and regulatory services Adrian Blair said many aspects of the rules around busking would retain the status quo.

"The need for buskers to seek permission from retailers before performing outside their stores is intended to reduce complaints from retailers, but remains a proposal only, and is open to feedback."

The time allowed for buskers was reduced under the proposal, but only by removing the previously allowed 30 minutes of set-up time, he said. "One-hour performance time remains unchanged."

The proposed bylaw required a 3m-wide corridor for pedestrian access, including people with disabilities, already a requirement in the CBD in 2GP rules, he said.

Consultation on the bylaw ran from July 3 to August 3 and was advertised in print and on social media.

"We also notified the people’s panel and arts groups and made information available at DCC service centres, on our website and in council newsletters."

The council had to maintain safe access for able and disabled people, he said. The bylaw would not restrict busking.

"In narrower parts of Albion Lane the distance of the passageway is 3.1m, allowing enough distance for some buskers to continue utilising this space.

"Other areas of Albion Lane provide wider access, and there will be no change in most cases."


 

Comments

Quote: "The need for buskers to seek permission from retailers before performing outside their stores is intended to reduce complaints from retailers, but remains a proposal only, and is open to feedback."

Ideally, I think it would be better for buskers and performers to move on from a shop frontage only if asked. The footpath is a public domain, not owned or leased by the shop owner. Buskers should not require the permission of a shop owner to perform there. And lets face it, they can only be there for one hour.

So many rules regulations and restrictions. No wonder there are so many mental issues in society. Everyday, we give up a little bit more of our freedoms.

"Gareth McMillan was disappointed to have only found out about it a week before consultation closed." - that is how the DCC appear to operate, or they give one or two options of what they want and no room for other ideas.
Buzz 100% agree.

 

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