Ray Avery versus Helen Clark

Helen Clark has been involved in a stoush with Ray Avery over a proposed charity concert at Eden Park on Waitangi Day next year.

RNZ: Helen Clark fires back at Sir Ray Avery

Helen Clark says Sir Ray Avery has adopted a “bullying approach” after she voiced opposition to a charity concert he wants to hold at Eden Park.

Ms Clark lives about 400m from the stadium where Sir Ray hopes put on a Live Aid-style concert to raise funds for premature babies.

The former prime minister called the proposal a Trojan horse that would pave the way for more concerts at the venue.

Sir Ray, formerly named New Zealander of the year, countered that she was engaging in “petty politics” on an issue that involved saving children’s lives

Ms Clark told Checkpoint with John Campbell that she was merely exercising her rights as a Mt Eden resident, pointing out that there were many alternative venues for the event.

“I guess my point is, how does this make the ordinary citizen around Eden Park feel that if you put your head up and oppose something that a prominent New Zealander wants that you’re going to be savaged in the media and called all sorts of things?”

She compared Sir Ray’s remarks to those of a social media troll.

“There’s a particular type of troll on [sites like Twitter] which pretty much falls into line with the rather bullying approach that Mr Avery has adopted.

“Now, he’s probably picked the wrong person to try to bully in directly attacking me.”

Avery has been interviewed on the Nation this morning.

Sir Ray Avery apologises to Helen Clark if he has come across as a bully, but also said said Clark’s position on the Eden Park concert is “morally wrong”

…says the international act coming to his charity concert is “huge” and a male act

Avery says that the cost of bringing in a high profile international act was huge so they needed a venue of the size of Eden Park to cover costs and raise money.

There seems to be a strong group of Nimbys who are staunchly against anything musical (apart from sports event clips) at Eden Park.

I suspect Clark may regret making an issue of this, but she is in an awkward position being anti noise at Eden Park, so make find it difficult to support the charity and concert.

Just one concert doesn’t seem like a big deal. It’s understandable for opponents to fear that it could open the floodgates and rock the neighbourhood, but the ‘not in my backyard’ protests can be a bit too precious about protecting a quiet way of life for themselves in the middle of a large city.


Labour MPs at Eden Park

It’s hard to believe that a minor story I first heard about last Sunday is still getting attention.

Just about everyone is rolling their eyes at MPs, especially senior MPs, leaving themselves open to almost inevtiable embarrassment.

I don’t think it’s a big deal but it was greedy and dumb.

And the way Labour has managed (or not managed ) the story through the week has been weak.

But I wonder what Sky City were up to. Surely they would have known the likely consequences – especially if they also invited people who were bound to notice and make a meal out of it (it’s turned out being a banquet).

Were Goff, King and Faafoi set up? They certainly took the bait and have been hooked, harpooned and lampooned. Silly buggers.

And who would know what Shearer was up to?