Helen Clark's actions over Eden Park charity concert 'morally wrong' - Sir Ray Avery

  • 07/07/2018

Former New Zealander of the year Sir Ray Avery says Helen Clark's opposition to his proposed Eden Park charity concert is "morally wrong".

Sir Ray is bringing an unknown star to New Zealand to play the one-off concert, which he says will be part of charity efforts to raise $4 million for neonatal incubators for developing countries

He told Newshub Nation it is a male artist from the original Band Aid line up.

But former Prime Minister Helen Clark says the concert is "Trojan horse" that will allow the stadium to hold more noisy concerts near her house in future.

She made a submission to Auckland Council opposing the concert, and has vocally criticised the plans on social media - especially when Sir Ray called her disapproval a "fall from grace".

"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."

Speaking on Newshub Nation, Sir Ray said he would "absolutely apologise" if his comments came across as bullying, but that he still thinks Ms Clark is wrong.

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

"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."

Sir Ray said as somebody who has worked in the developing world and seen the effects of a lack of neonatal care, Ms Clark should understand the importance of his incubators.

He says it's not possible to move the concert to another stadium, because the agreement with the headline act includes the seating numbers and access to personal suites Eden Park offers.

Sir Ray said opposition to the event has forced his organisation, Medicine Mondiale, to shut down its website.

"All my staff, which work as volunteers, we've had to shut down our website because of the complaints that have come in from some small portion of society who see things a different way," he said.

"Because we're covered by NZ Aid we have to treat those as an internal assault and we have to file a code for it.

"For me it's been disappointing in a sense that anybody would feel like that."