A Good Idea

The Hamilton City Council has decided against torturing its citizens with Barry Manilow:

Ditching “uncool” music in favour of more popular tunes for Hamilton’s Garden Place playlist has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

However, some business owners are not convinced the music has made a difference. In the eight months since a $27,000 sound system was installed last year, the city council has received 14 public complaints about behaviour in the area.

In the eight months before the music began there were 21 complaints.

Garden Place space manager Greg Stack said the latest batch of complaints related mainly to skateboarding and loitering in the doorways of businesses.

The council originally intended to play “uncool” music such as by Barry Manilow or Mozart to drive troublemakers from the area.

But Mr Stack introduced an easy-listening playlist that included everything from top 40 hits to classic rock. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, local artists Kimbra and The Good Fun, and modern acts Aloe Blacc and Foo Fighters all featured on the youth-friendly rotation.

Arts Waikato communications adviser Nick Johnston, who helped Mr Stack compile the playlist, said the objective was to create an inviting environment, rather than driving people away.

Which is all council speak for choosing music friendly bogans like, but that ferals hate.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.