Expo hurt by lack of signage, organisers say
The organisers of the annual wedding expo in Porirua have hit out at the city council’s ‘‘outdated’’ and ‘‘draconian’’ bylaws restricting signage to promote the event.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‘‘We have no issues in other cities in the region, but the outdated attitude here means Porirua businesses will miss out on advertising their events.’’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.