Dunedin music while you hold, on city council calls

Tune in but don't tune out . . . Dunedin city councillor Aaron Hawkins pictured with a selection...
Tune in but don't tune out . . . Dunedin city councillor Aaron Hawkins pictured with a selection of new and old Dunedin music. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
You can call Aaron Hawkins loyal.

The Dunedin city councillor has succeeded in getting the city's music added to the council's playlist for callers put on hold.

''With all respect to Dave Dobbyn and the gang, if we are going to show any loyalty we could start a little closer to home,'' he said.

That means more Trick Mammoth, Males, Prophet Hens and Strange Harvest, and less Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga.

The idea had been raised by the music community in the past, and Cr Hawkins decided to explore the possibility six months ago.

With the help of Ian Henderson, of Fishrider Records, a dozen local songs had been added to the playlist, giving current callers a one-in-10 chance of hearing a Dunedin track.

''We have a very proud musical heritage in Dunedin, and a very active and talented contemporary scene and this is a really easy way of showing that off,'' Cr Hawkins said.

''I see this as a bigger push to celebrate our artists in everyday life, rather than seeing it as a separate thing that sits out to the side.''

Any local musicians who wanted to be added to the playlist should contact him, he said.

''It is one of those things that seem really obvious but hasn't been actioned.''

DCC customer services agency team leader Brendan Shea said the call centre tried to limit people waiting to ''around the 20-second mark'', which was dependent on call volume and rostered staff.

He said for the past few years callers on hold to the council had been listening to songs from the ''Great New Zealand Songbook''.

''Aaron's initiative to add some Dunedin music into the mix is very good and we are pleased to do it,'' he said.


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