Expo hurt by lack of sig­nage, or­gan­is­ers say

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

The or­gan­is­ers of the an­nual wed­ding expo in Porirua have hit out at the city coun­cil’s ‘‘out­dated’’ and ‘‘dra­co­nian’’ by­laws re­strict­ing sig­nage to pro­mote the event.

But the coun­cil says the group was given plenty of in­for­ma­tion and even al­lowances for ex­tra sites to place its signs.

The North City Wed­ding & Bridal Expo has been held at Te Rau­paraha Arena ev­ery Jan­uary since 2009. The com­pany run­ning the event, WAC Man­age­ment, ad­ver­tises through­out the Welling­ton re­gion, us­ing news­pa­pers, ra­dio and bill­boards.

There are about 60 signs built spe­cially for road­sides around the re­gion and Carol Rose, a mem­ber of the expo’s man­age­ment team, said it had never been a prob­lem plac­ing at least 10 around Porirua un­til 2015.

Rose said over the past two years there had been more coun­cil re­sis­tance to the signs.

‘‘They are pro­fes­sion­ally done and smart and are only up for three weeks,’’ she said.

‘‘We were only al­lowed five around Porirua and it was em­bar­rass­ing, for us and our ex­hibitors.

‘‘There’s al­most no in­di­ca­tion the expo is tak­ing place in the city be­cause of th­ese dra­co­nian by­laws.

‘‘We have no is­sues in other cities in the re­gion, but the out­dated at­ti­tude here means Porirua busi­nesses will miss out on ad­ver­tis­ing their events.’’

Five signs were placed around Porirua, in­clud­ing in Ti­tahi Bay Rd, Whit­ford Brown Ave and Whitby. Not be­ing able to put them up at key en­try points to the city was shock­ing, Rose said.

Jim Sut­ton, the coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards man­ager, said his team had al­ways sup­ported the expo. The coun­cil pro­vided 19 sites around Porirua for sig­nage and they were highly vis­i­ble to driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans.

He said it was in­ac­cu­rate to say the expo or­gan­is­ers were al­lowed only five places for signs.

‘‘They were ad­vised they could put them up at any of the 19 sites and al­lowance was made for four ad­di­tional sites. [How­ever], some they wanted to use were cov­ered by a NZ Trans­port Agency by­law and we ad­vised them they couldn’t be used be­cause of that.’’

Sut­ton said com­mer­cial signs such as those dis­played by Denny’s and Pete’s Em­po­rium were per­ma­nent, and fell un­der dif­fer­ent, but stricter, rules.

He said there has been no change in the by­law in the past two years. It would be re­viewed this year and the com­mu­nity’s views would be wel­comed.

One of the wed­ding expo signs placed in Ti­tahi Bay Rd.

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