Sir Ray Avery's controversial Eden Park charity concert application withdrawn

Sir Ray Avery's controversial Eden Park charity concert application has been withdrawn. 

In a statement released on Thursday, Eden Park said it "regrets to announce that due to time constraints and the prospect of substantial Environment Court costs, it has been forced to withdraw its application for the LifePod Appeal concert, planned for Waitangi Day (6 February) 2019."

The concert is part of a drive to raise money for 2000 life pod baby incubators to be made and sent to developing countries.

Trustees of The Eden Park Trust met this week and concluded that it is "not viable" for the stadium to continue with its application due to the "likely costs and timeframe for court proceedings".

The Trust "hoped it could work with the minority who objected to reach an agreement for this one-off worthy event," the statement said. This would have avoided the Environment Court process but "unfortunately that was not to be the case".

Chief Executive Nick Sautner said: "Although we respect the process in place, to bring events like concerts to our stadium we also have to work in with promoters’ lead times which include confirming the venue as well as securing ticket on-sale dates."

"Unfortunately this time it was unworkable but we now look to the future to ensure this half a billion dollar asset can host unique and memorable events for the city," he added. 

The withdrawal throws the concert's future into jeopardy. Sir Ray told The AM Show on Wednesday there was a very real chance the headline performer would pull out if Eden Park was unavailable.

Eden Park encouraged all neighbours to have their say during the process. Three-quarters of submissions to the resource consent process support the LifePod Appeal concert and UMR Research shows that 91 percent of Aucklanders and 87 percent of people living nearby also support it.

But some local residents had opposed the concert, with former Prime Minister Helen Clark saying she believed it was a "Trojan horse" to bring other noisy events to the area. Ms Clark had publically sparred with Sir Ray over the concert and accused him of bullying.

"Amazing way of operating - to hurl abuse, and then say he wants to sit down and talk," she wrote on Twitter.

"Time for 101 perhaps on residents' rights to object to activities which are not permitted under current planning parameters."

Sir Ray responded on Newshub Nation by saying he apologised if he came across as bullying but Ms Clark was in the wrong.

"If Helen had put in a submission like all the other people from Eden Park nothing would have happened," he told Newshub Nation.

"What Helen did was to go not just on the parapet, [but] on top of the parapet the flag waving 'I'm going to stop Sir Avery's concert'.

"I think that, in my personal view what Helen's doing is morally wrong, so I felt that I had the right to have that same position."


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