Tahuna Park in doubt for car shows

Cars on display at Tahuna Park during the annual Great USA Day.PHOTO: ODT FILES
Cars on display at Tahuna Park during the annual Great USA Day.PHOTO: ODT FILES
The organisers of two charitable car shows are calling on the Dunedin City Council to reverse a ban on their use of Tahuna Park.

Ken Shoemaker, who organises the Otago Community Hospice Charity Cruise and Car Show, and Mike Lea, organiser of the Great USA Day car show, both opposed the council's move yesterday.

They had been told the annual events could no longer be held at Tahuna Park, as council staff worried vehicles would damage the turf and threaten its use as a football venue.

The pair, speaking at yesterday's 10-year plan public hearing, disputed that and called for the council to revisit its stance.

Mr Lea said his event had been staged at Tahuna Park for 20 years, without causing damage, and an online petition calling for the council to relent had so far attracted about 500 signatures.

Tahuna Park was user-friendly and provided an ideal venue for vehicles to be displayed or gather for Mr Lea's cruise, and other possible venues, including the Oval, were not deemed suitable, the men said.

Mr Shoemaker said he had approached Dunedin Venues about using Forsyth Barr Stadium for his event, but was concerned the company could cancel at short notice, leaving him with nowhere to go.

``For that reason we are keen to stay at Tahuna as well.''

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the pair's concerns were already under ``active consideration'' by council chief executive Sue Bidrose.

The pair's plea came as a string of submitters addressed the council in person yesterday.

Among them was John Evans, from the Friends of Chisholm Links Trust, who asked the council to consider granting the golf club $40,000 worth of free water a year after a particularly dry summer left its fairways barren.

The club was already exploring the use of grey water to irrigate the land, which is owned by the council, but Mr Evans said yesterday the idea would not work.

The grey water would be too high in nutrients, encouraging weeds and excessive grass growth for a links course, and diluting it would still require a source of water, he said.

The course was a ``hidden treasure'' in Dunedin, and received rave reviews from visiting golfers at the end of February's New Zealand Legends Masters, held there, he said.

Dr Bidrose said the request could raise questions from other clubs wanting the same, but the option of using grey water was still being explored.

``That's where things sit with us,'' she said.

The Dunedin Amenities Society said more work was needed to improve ``dowdy and unloved'' parts of Dunedin's Town Belt.

Society president Paul Pope said the area was growing in popularity as a recreational reserve.

The council needed to invest more in maintaining and improving the network of footpaths and tracks, increasing scientific monitoring of weeds and pests, and deal with rubbish, vandalism and parking problems in some areas, he said.


Come on guys, you should know by now that if you want DCC to support your show you need to get rid of cars and only show push bikes. The anti car people on DCC would love it. I'm sure you would get upwards of 20 people to come to your bike show. You just need to forget the thousands that participate in your car shows.

Again band on the money and what I think also, how does a council get overthrown? Dunedin need to protest to show the dislike for the council, this will then get national exposure and raise questions about the idiot Council. I'm waiting for the wall to be built



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