Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: You can't moan

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Something you can moan about: the Auckland City Council's jihad against business signage and billboards. Does anybody care about this as much as stuff as Bruce Hucker seems to?

    If you want to talk about visual pollution, how about the election hoardings (vandalised, often with obscene and offensive graffiti, more often than not) that spring up like mould in a shower stall every three years? Do hope City Vision will be leading by example this campaign season. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • lotech,

    I'm all for loosing the billboards - I bet 6 months after it comes in to effect people will realize how marketing had taken over far too much of the Auckland landscape and that in the end was a good move.

    And for all the 'lose of a $70mil industry" should realize that advertisers are still going to need to advertise - and in other mediums. We lost Pavement (for better or for worse) and numerous other magazines thanks to a lack of advertisers.

    AKNZ • Since Dec 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Perot,

    If those City Vision councillors want to be one-term wonders, they're going the right way about it.

    Surely that's what we need more of -- councillors who are willing to act independently of their future election prospects.

    [I personally support a bit of a clean up of Auckland's billboards, although I don't know if an outright ban is the way to go, and it should certainly not be priority number one given the state of public transport at present. If only we had some one-term wonders working on other issues too!]

    Deutschland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    I sat in on a Fixtures Committee meeting recently as part of a nightmare that is attempting to build in the inner city. Prior to the hearing I was there for, was that of a company in the viaduct seeking permission for a small neon sign to be erected above their entrance in one of those large office park buildings down there. A City Vision councillor (there were only two councillors present in total, which we're told was the quorum) raised the possibility of adding a clause to the resource consent stipulating that no signage (even A4 in size) be allowed to be placed in the windows of the company's premises, as a condition of granting the consent. In-house legal counsel gently informed the councillor that it was inappropriate to be adding conditions of this nature, but if it had been possible, I'm sure it would have been pushed through.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm all for loosing the billboards - I bet 6 months after it comes in to effect people will realize how marketing had taken over far too much of the Auckland landscape and that in the end was a good move.

    Possibly - although it's hardly a question that's convulsed the city - but it's not just the billboards now: the proposed crackdown on signage on privately-owned businesses just makes no sense. See Matt's post above this one.

    And it's small business that will cop this. There'll still be plenty of scope for pug-ugly KFC outlets and ghastly Westfield logos.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    On the plus side - I can't imagine it being legal.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • hudsie,

    I completely agree about Bondy. A number of batsmen managed to get a lot of runs and all at very healthy strike rates. But Bond was the only bowler to emerge from the game with figures that didn't damage his career stats.
    I felt for Fleming who by the end of the Australian innings seemed powerless to staunch the flow of runs. But, I can't help but wonder if Bond shouldn't have been bowled out in the middle of their innings, seeing as everybody was smashed in the final 10 overs.
    Our bowling depth is not so strong as to leave Bond with an over unbowled after 50.

    Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Nais,

    There's a huge difference between large billboards that dominate the skyline and those that advertise a legit business.

    If you take a look at the photos in the HardCopy Herald (can't seem to find them in the e-version) you will see 2 photos of the small number of shops at the intersection of Ranfurly Rd and Manukau Rd in Epsom.

    The 'before' and 'after' billboard bylaw changes shots actually show you how hard it may be to locate a business under the proposed new regime. If you are not allowed to place even your business name in a visible spot how are you meant to attract customers?

    Another annoying feature of Auckland businesses is that few commercial premises have streets numbers visible so you can spend a long and fruitless search driving/walking up and down a length of road to locate the right building.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    Can I moan about how the cricket season feels infinite and I am therefore tending towards considering cutting the power supply to our house and hiding all the batteries?

    Cos I'd really like to...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    We haven't got the same jihad going on here in Wellington, thank god. Sure, significant heritage buildings and areas should have some protection, but I don't see billboards as "visual clutter": surely a big city should be all about sensory overload, visual contrasts and brash vitality?

    There is a move afoot here to clamp down on sandwich boards, but I think that's a different issue: they do actually physically get in the way of pedestrians, and in a city where walking is a significant mode of commuting it's crazy to block off big chunks of the public thoroughfare. Roll on hologram sandwich boards and levitating billboards a la Bladerunner!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Nais,

    Apologies - that'll teach me to read more than one thing with my coffee ;-) The photos are not in the Herald but in Akld City's CityScene and are online here

    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/news/council/200702/18/a04.asp

    You'll notice that the Hair Co (Toni & Co) and the physio signs ahve been reduced in size. The real estate agents, cafe and antique shops signs have gone completely!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    NZ cricket is well placed to compete in the Windies. Bond's playing magnificently and it's good to see Macca doing well. I'd not seen Taylor or Fulton until they were over for the CB series - great talents!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Another annoying feature of Auckland businesses is that few commercial premises have streets numbers visible so you can spend a long and fruitless search driving/walking up and down a length of road to locate the right building.

    Oh yeah. And if a business' sign is parallel to the road, rather than perpendicular, you can't easily scan down the street for it. So if you are looking for a particular business that you've never visited before, you have to crawl and block traffic while you find it. Signage that can only be seen from across the road is next to useless in this scenario.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You'll notice that the Hair Co (Toni & Co) and the physio signs ahve been reduced in size. The real estate agents, cafe and antique shops signs have gone completely!

    That's quite revealing. I think you could make a case that that big billboard isn't related to any of the businesses and damages the heritage value of the buildings, but the rest of them are just people letting you know what their business is. Like I said, is there really any public clamour for this action?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    In retrospect, Bond’s opening spell was the difference between the 2 sides.

    Can anyone possibly explain why the main-stream media keep on referring to Ross Taylor as a Samoan??

    http://www.sportsfreak.co.nz/forum/forum-posts.asp?TID=1202&PN=1&TPN=1

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I've been walking around with a feeling (particularly the past couple of days, but also during the CB series) of just how good one-day cricket is these days. I don't know if it's the influence of 20-20, a new generation of players, or just the game taking another step.

    But we're consistently seeing big scores - how many times have Australia scored 330-something in the past couple of years playing NZ, only have to it either chased down, or almost chased down - the ball is heading into the stands a hell of a lot, the bowlers are having to evolve, and there's a feeling that Australia aren't always head and shoulders above the rest of us.

    Even lower scoring affairs, of which there were a few in the CB series, were pretty good games. Almost makes me wish I could afford Sky.

    And don't start me on how good NZ is suddenly looking for the World Cup. I know that's overconfidence based on just a couple of games, but if we can tape Oram up, I see a semis spot on the horizon. And young Taylor. We like him.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nais:

    Oh lovely... I've seen spreads in a Martha Stewart catalogue more interesting than that 'after' photo. Speaking of the Ken Lay of chintz, did anyone read the story in Canvas a couple of weeks back about Marthatowns', where you can live her fabulous life (sorta)... as long as you sign a covenant regulating everything from the colours you can use on the living room wall to the plants allowed in the backyard? I'm not suggesting the ACC's on the highway to that particular aesthetic hell - yet - but a bit of fugliness is infinitely preferable to my eye than having the ACC turning Auckland into a giant episode of Bland Eye For The Peasant Guy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Another annoying feature of Auckland businesses is that few commercial premises have streets numbers visible so you can spend a long and fruitless search driving/walking up and down a length of road to locate the right building.

    This gives me a faint twinge of nostalgia for New Zealand. My house in Bali is 51X...number 51 is two km down the road, next to 16 and there is no 51A-W. We are next door to 28. You build a house, you assign the number you like. Roadway chaos of course and finding a house or a business anywhere is a challenge (that coupled with the fact that if you ask a local if they know where No.XXXX is, they inevitably smile, answer yes, and then walk away).

    But the nostalgia is soon banished by the thought of the bloody rules that accompany the street numbering order. I know thats an overstatement, but I don't miss the rules, by-laws and over regulation that swamps so much of the western world, and in particular NZ which is approaching Singapore in its omnipresent and growing regulation of everything. I think of the ACC parking warden that gave me a ticket (!) some years ago for my shops sandwich board, located inside the door of my shop because council rules said no such boards anywhere on High Street, and she took this to mean including inside my doorway. And I think of the board of rules that covers a simple visit to the beach. I think I'd rather live next door to number 28.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Ahh, the rule making Kiwi, a particular bird with a long beak, no ears and a penchant for rooting round in the darkness. Remember the Traffic Cop in Smash Palace?
    Funny, Burt Monroe in TWFIndian was a homage to the Kiwi rule breaker, or was it to his neighbours..."you havn't done your lawns, but you can call us collect, let us know how you get on..."
    Hell I laughed when he did his lawns with petrol.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Legbreak, personally I think it's good to acknowledge Taylor's heritage although I remember Parore getting snotty when there was debate about how to pronounce his last name (and when Kelly Evenden went from being a NZer when he was winning to Maori when he was mouthing off at officials).

    I see it as positive, by drawing attention to the multi-culturalism of our sports teams we remind ourselves that NZ is a South Pacific nation.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Can’t agree Paul.

    You never hear Scott Styris being referred to as the Australian Styris, and he was born there! And I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard Monty Paneasar being referred to as “The Indian”.

    You can pick up on the multi-cultural angle when you watch them play.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Styris is Australian? Apparently Monty cops an ear-full from time to time though the Australian crowds treated him very well.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I see it as positive, by drawing attention to the multi-culturalism of our sports teams we remind ourselves that NZ is a South Pacific nation.

    I agree. Taylor seems more than happy to talk about himself in terms of his Samoan heritage. Given that he's only the second Samoan New Zealander to play international cricket (and I have a feeling he'll have more of a career than Murphy Su'a) it seems noteworthy.

    I for one enjoy seeing young Samoan NZers rise to the top of various professions.

    PS: Oddly enough, Parore got snotty when people insisted on pronouncing his name correctly ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The before-and-after example of the Epsom shops show a billboard on the side of a building. I'm OK with placing billboards there. It's not blocking any significant architectural features, and indeed it was flat surfaces like that where advertisements were painted on the olden days.

    It's when billboards take up the front of (usually interesting, old) buildings that I don't like. Look at 223 Symonds Street - there's actually an old building under that giant Telecom billboard.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Can anyone possibly explain why the main-stream media keep on referring to Ross Taylor as a Samoan??

    It's just one of those tags that media and game commentators depend on. They need to have A Fact to tell you about every single player. We used to play shot words with it. How long would it be before you were told

    - Shane Bond was a policeman

    - Jacob Oram was tall

    - the Marshall twins were twins

    - Chris Cairns was Lance Cairns's son

    etc. All blindingly obvious, all frequently repeated

    Irene van Dyck's nationality gets mentioned all the time. You shake the teapot really hard, you can probably make a storm, but I suspect if his Samoan heritage was never mentioned, people would get shitty about that too.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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