Helen Clark 'should know better' on Eden Park concert - Sir Ray Avery

Helen Clark 'should know better' on Eden Park concert - Sir Ray Avery
Photo credit: Getty.

Former New Zealander of the Year Sir Ray Avery says former Prime Minister Helen Clark's opposition to a charity concert planned for Eden Park is "extraordinary" and she "should know better".

The concert, which Sir Ray told RadioLIVE would be a family-style event, has been proposed for Waitangi Day next year to raise $4 million to make 2000 LifePod baby incubators.

He hopes the incubators could save a million lives - 50 lives each a year for 10 years.

But in a submission to the Auckland Council, Ms Clark argues the fundraising concert is a "Trojan horse" that could lead to the venue hosting similarly noisy events in the future.

Sir Avery dismissed that claim, saying that each concert must go through an approval process and all he wants to do is save a million babies.

"[Helen] has probably seen as many dead babies as I have in the way she has gone across the world. It is extraordinary that someone's that is on the world stage promoting women's rights would actually get down to this petty local borough politics," he said.

Sir Avery said Ms Clark's submission could bring down the whole concert, which he described as a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

Ms Clark said she was not opposed to the concert's charitable cause but believed it was not specific to the venue. She also said Eden Park has failed to provide specific details about the event's noise limit.

Mount Smart regularly hosts concerts with international acts, but Sir Avery said Eden Park was the only option due to the relationships he had built there. He said he didn't believe the concert would work financially with Mount Smart.

A spokesperson from the Eden Park National Association said it agrees with Ms Clark's concerns about the precedent the concert could set.

"By applying without a noise limit, they appear to want to ignore the residential constraints and to run an event at whatever set up and noise level they want - regardless of impacts on the neighbourhood."

Sir Avery said that until recently he'd been in regular contact with the Association's president, but now feels betrayed and admits he doesn't have a plan B.

The concert has received support from several local figures, including Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

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