Undie change no done deal

It seems the Undie 500 rally has finally found a new destination, but there is still the small matter of widespread opposition from local authorities to get around before the event can go ahead.

The rally's organiser, the University of Canterbury's engineering society (Ensoc), has been looking for a new destination as the event is no longer welcome in Dunedin after descending into mass disorder in each of the past four years.

Seddon couple Trish and Chris Redwood had agreed to host the rally, the Marlborough Express reported yesterday.

Ensoc president Michael Cook told the Otago Daily Times that after being turned down by other landowners Ensoc had approached he was "really pleased" the Redwoods had offered their property for an organised event at the end of the rally.

The society wanted this chance to prove that with the right controls and measures in place, away from other people, it could hold a "great" event.

It would pay the Redwoods for the use of the property and planned to hold the rally on September 17 and 18.

The Redwoods told the Express they had agreed to host the event after being shocked by the hostility towards the rally.

Mrs Redwood did not expect any trouble.

"I don't see how having a concert in a country venue would produce similar circumstances. The environment in Dunedin is unique; it's a student ghetto. It's very cold, and they need to light fires," she said.

She would have no problem if the students set a couch on fire. "There's no fire ban here."

Mr Cook said the society would apply to the Marlborough District Council for a liquor licence, as it wanted to run a responsible event.

He is likely to face opposition in that application from both Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman and police, who have previously made clear their opposition to the rally coming to the region.

A neighbour of the Redwoods, Peter Yealands, said he had rejected an approach from the organisers to have the event on his land and was worried about damage to his property.

Marlborough police say they will speak to the Redwoods this week.

 

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