Report sparks Christmas decoration advice

Christmas may still be 10 months away, but that hasn’t stopped Invercargill councillors weighing in on the state of the city’s festive decorations.

The discussion this week followed a small update in an infrastructure activities report on new "shimmer panels" that the council had trialled in the CBD last December.

Cr Allan Arnold questioned how much the panels cost, before offering advice on how the council should tackle the silly season.

"A couple of comments on the decorations. This year they didn’t go up until the end of the first week in December, and Christmas was already well under way," he said.

"So it was probably three weeks too late."

He praised the traditional stringed lighting display in the city, but said the decreased number last year meant they looked "a bit lame".

He was also critical of the council’s "triangular trees with the lights on them", and asked if it would be worthwhile for staff to create a plan.

Mana whenua representative Evelyn Cook had a different view, saying although people enjoyed the lights, it could be time to consider alternatives.

"Putting those ones in is hugely resource consuming," she said.

"Perhaps if we’re talking about this, this is the time we need to think about whether we should be moving away from those stringed lights, and looking at the more modern LED displays, and things like that."

Crs Grant Dermody and Steve Broad advocated for Bluff to receive more consideration for decorations, while Cr Leslie Soper requested South City also get a nod.

Deputy mayor Tom Campbell said it was good Cr Arnold had raised his concerns because Christmas was often only discussed around October, by which time it was too late. — LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.