Temple Vs Ak City Noise Control Debacle Update
As we are about to head off to court on December 12th as a result of the noise control raid we had here back in June - I'd thought I'd send you all an update - its been a major series of pretty frustrating events. We are trying to get as many people as possible along on the day, so if you are available, even for some of it, it would be very much appreciated!!!!!
As most of you will be aware, back on Saturday 9th June the Temple was the subject of a particularly heavyhanded police and Armourguard raid, as the result of a noise control complaint. This resulted in 2 people (Ryan - the lead singer of the band playing) and Derek (a long time Temple "friend" and musician) being arrested for doing nothing wrong. Gear was confiscated, people were abused and assaulted by the police.
This is despite the fact I had a previous arrangement with council that noise control complaints would not be handled by Armourguard and police, but that they would send a Environmental Health Officer, employed by council, who would measure the sound, ascertain if we were over and if we were, we would close the door, turn down and go on with the show.
Council have admitted that it was a mistake on their behalf that the noise control complaint was handled by Armourguard and the police, however the Temple, the bands, the guys arrested and the audience have still to receive an apology! Basically no-one has been prepared to take responsibility for their mistakes and we are the ones who are wearing it!!!
I laid a complaint with the Police Complaints Authority. They have recommended that the charges be dropped - because - neither Derek nor Ryan actually broke the law!! However, the police have decided to go ahead with the prosecution regardless.
The legal fees for this will amount to about $4,000. We raised about $1000 from the fundraising gigs earlier this year, leaving a rather large shortfall. Unfortunately because the charges are minor we are not eligible for legal aid!! We hope to recover these costs from the police and/or council. There has also been considerable cost in time, lost wages for Derek and Ryan to attend court and lawyer's meetings. Huge amounts of my time have been eaten up. Not to mention the stress and anxiety this has caused.
To add insult to injury, the courts changed Derek's court date, but forgot to record it. So when he didn't turn up for the 1st hearing date that was set down (because they'd changed it) they put a warrant out for his arrest. To have the warrant lifted took 2 more visits to court and a ticking off by the judge. Go figure!
By the time the hearing is over on the 12th of December, Ryan will have been to court 3 times and Derek 5 times.
If any of you saw the article on Space (music program Friday evenings - TV2) about noise control, you would have seen a Council guy called Barry Smedts, who, to be perfectly honest, came across as a bit of a wally. Lisa from the Kings Arms and myself also both appeared on the program as well. Interestingly enough, this guy Barry, is not only head of the noise control at council, but also head of liquor licensing - and low and behold, I have had a forming warning from Liquor Licensing about..........(get this!) drinking........ on my birthday. Sounds a little suspicious to me!!!!!!! Anyway, in true Temple style, I have objected to the warning (its not actually illegal to drink - particularly on your birthday) and have requested it goes to hearing to have the warning stricken off my record, although this course of action does carry considerable risk. Seems to me there's a bit of abuse of power going on!!!
Incidentally, noise control have been monitoring us on a regular basis ever since and haven't found us to be over the required limit!
I also suspect that the following problems encountered with police and council may also be tied into this whole thing.
The police have told me they will be objecting to our application for a special license to hold a series of all ages gigs here next year. We have agreed to take all alcohol off the premises for these gigs, but the police don't want us to hold them!
I have applied for a street trading license so people can go out the front of the Temple with their drinks and this has been turned down on the basis that the street is too steep.
I have applied for an extension to the liquor license to license the Garden Bar out the back, again, the police are objecting to it.
So, I've tried to keep it as brief as possible, but as you can see, its all been a bit traumatic!! We would really appreciate your support on 12th December. I don't know what court room it'll be in, but will kick off at 10am and go the whole day. Its held at the District Court on Albert St and Derek (Judge) and Ryan (O'Donnell) will have their names posted on the court schedule which will tell you what courtroom the hearings are being held in.
Karen q Temple
Aucklands Live Original Music Venue
486 Queen St Auckland New Zealand