Minutes Summaries – Live Music Action Plan

LMAP Meeting Minutes 26-08-2021

Minutes Meeting with styles group around planning and noise.

Thursday 26 August 2021 3:30 – 4:45pm

Zoom: Level 4 Edition

In attendance: Jon Styles (JS), Glen Hazelton (GH), Ros MacGill (RM), Kirsty Glengarry (KG), Dave Bennett (DB), Lisa Wilkie (LW), Michael Holland (MH), Fairleigh Gilmour (FG), Antony Decker (AD), Amie Taua (AT)

Independent Advisor Jon Styles met with the team involved in the MAP to discuss possible solutions regarding the issues around residential dwellers and spaces where Live Music is played and enjoyed.

  1. Issues

 JS: In the past, planning issues have largely been around the planning frameworks not considering noise levels when creating apartments and living spaces. It is not possible to know noise levels from within these spaces

RM: This is when noise complaints lead to interactions with noise control staff

JS: For MAP going forward, it would be helpful for all parties to know what noise levels are acceptable, while also managing realistic expectations for both parties; i.e. it is not realistic for tenants to move into the city centre and not accommodate a certain level of noise as a result of the location. 35 Decibels (dBs) is an accepted general standard of noise, with the base as low as possible. Past experience: If there’s certainty around parameters – specified days and times for higher noise levels – and everyone is able to commit to the expectations, this approach can work with the accurate measuring tools and expectations are met consistently.

  • Dog With Two Tails: Case Study

The incident at the Dog With Two Tails (DWTT) was used as an example of an exchange that everyone would like to avoid in the future, and as a case study for what needs to be considered regarding infrastructure, planning progress and residential dwelling in the city centre when creating possible solutions.

RM: There was a gig on at DWTT, noise control officers were called and handled the situation ineffectively, shutting down the gig.

  • There are two neighbours to DWTT, above and one next door
  • The noise control officers needed to access the noise complaint from within the living space
  • One of the complainants would not allow this to happen, so an accurate analysis of noise level was not achieved
  • Discussion whether there should be noise insulation added to the bar

JS: In other regions, there are hard lines regarding the implementation of regulations around sound and noise complaints:

  • Anonymous complaints are not enacted (in Auckland, this was sometimes rival businesses)
  • Not all districts have this articulated in their rules, and it is dependent on whether the two parties are on the same parcel of land
  • If there is no rule that controls noise between tenants in a building, DCC has no jurisdiction from a measurement point of view.
  • Creates a difficult position if the two parties in the same building – this could become a civil issue dealt with via the landlord. DCC to check our plan.

JS: There are different solutions for the short term, as well as the long term

DB: The DWTT complaint was mishandled, the noise measurements would have been helpful, but those working at the gig were not given information to make changes so the gig could continue. NC officers wouldn’t engage in discussion re solution, and as a result eight police officers showed up – DCC have met with DWTT and accepted this response was too heavy handed.

FG: There is currently no guidance regarding measurement and parameters, a lack of clarity. This is restrictive to and affects the continuation of Live Music at venues. Businesses are nervous to host live music because of the potential consequences (loss of income and trade over this time). This potential outcome means businesses are less likely to host live music. 

  • Ros notes a seizure or Excessive Noise Direction doesn’t mean a business has to close, it means they can’t re-offend within the next 72 hours. 
  • KG notes clear guidance on noise levels provides certainly for business to proceed with greater confidence.
  • Solutions and Outcomes

JS: Objectivity is needed, and acknowledgement of what a reasonable amount of noise looks like – this can be quickly achieved

  • Curfews and restrictions: e.g. play music until 10-11pm, or 12am Thurs/Fri/Sat
  • Important to understand the structure and nature of where apartments are in relation to sound source

Can implement the idea of the “Hot List” – properties that are not attended to by the Noise Control Officer, but dealt with in another way:

  • Change the response, look at enforcing of 35dB limit using a sound level meter
  • Take measurement of sound levels in apartment and bar/venue e.g. on a Sunday midday, take internal noise to measure against: mid 90s re measurement is the sweet spot
  • This instrument could be a permanent feature in the venue, readings are logged using a microphone within the space
  • If there was a complaint, the logs could be read; venue owners and those performing would be covered and not bothered with ambiguity
  • The apartment dwellers agree to a reasonable measurement and level of noise for the venue to work to

This process would need to be documented clearly so that everyone understands their individual responsibility:

  • The instrument would be robust in its reading of noise levels/ be tamper proof, and provide logs that are stored (Drop Box or Cloud), and can be checked by council
  • The cost: $12-$13k, could be done for less than that
  • $1500 for microphone + setup, LAeq 15min intervals, backup and synced = approx. $2 – $5k

GH: Viability of portable, mobile instrument for reading noise levels?

JS: More expensive: $10-$11k for the Rolls Royce of instruments. However, this instrument would be customisable, could develop templates, and transferable between venues, week-to-week, month-by-month. Would be the best short-term solution that would provide objective measurements, there would be less headaches and much cheaper for all parties. In previous experience, this has been the outcome for elongated litigation. E.g. Empire Tavern.

GH: The apartments already existing in the city can’t be asked retroactively to set up sound insulation – unless there is a change in use – but can ask new builds to meet these requirements

Other examples from other cities:

Wellington: Had a similar issue with city-centre residents, created an Entertainment Precinct = several blocks that accommodated live music and outdoor events, had no apartments: This worked well

Auckland: Had a residential precinct – didn’t work so well

Others: headed down the route of noise measurement + curfew

  • Changes to City Space and Nation-wide

FG: Potential for Fri – Sat 1am curfews high levels, Sun – Thurs lower noise levels. There is a scarcity of venues currently in the CBD, and it will only take a few more venues to shut for the thriving Dunedin music scene to grind to a halt. There needs to be long term plans and objectives for the music scene in this area of Dunedin.

LW: The University area used to be home to a lot of live music, but bars have closed = fuelled movement towards the Octagon – this has not always been the centre of the live music scene in Dunedin. Migration has happened but the same issues occur.

FG: Live Music has issues wherever it takes place in the city

GH: Currently the government response to the housing crisis is to place residential housing as widely as possible.

JS: This conversation is ongoing. The growth around the city centres continues, but the mixed-use approach to planning creates long-term issues. Acoustic insulation keeps incompatibilities to a minimum

  • Queenstown: example of developers with deep pockets, Hotels created with high levels of acoustic insulation – 40dB outside to inside. RM asked about the current apartment owners, and there are none in the centre of Qtown.
  • Can be a sticky legal mess:
    • Council can put rules in place for new-builds: air con/trickle fan/acoustic insulation
    • Residents who are already in place, this becomes more complicated
  • Option for Council: introduce new rules for residential: bring building up to specification if it doesn’t meet regulations – Section 10 – doesn’t absolve the resident of requirements
  • Reversing sensitivity effects: difficult but can be done

Issue: people currently living in uninsulated buildings unwilling to comply and therefore dragging the issue

GH: Council could use political arm to implement change?

Industrial Area as Music Venues?

JS: There is limited utilities (access, toilets, transport), change of use and lack of connection to city

FG: Melbourne is a prime example where Musicians created a cultural hub that was then gentrified and therefore became hostile for the musicians who made the space viable for use.

JS: Queenstown District Planning reviewed the issue around Helicopter noise, which was raised by residents and garnered political support. Outcome: little to no helicopter noise.

Kainga Ora: Planning process with Waka Kotahi (Transport NZ) = strict confines of residential building near railways/highways, but not willing to accommodate those who are closest to those spaces e.g. with noise-reducing asphalt.

There needs to be reciprocity re issues around noise, a two-way street

RM: Is it best to have noise limits as the answer

JS: This is less appealing to potential buyers. Long-term it is not viable: affected sleep has long-term health side-effects.

FG: Entertainment Precinct (like that of Wellington) with curfews best long-term option?

JS: for the Council to decide. If there is good support for a lively nightlife (FG: there is) then Planning Dep could look at the City Centre area and potentially where an Entertainment Precinct can develop with relaxed noise limits during peak times. Requirements around this area are noise insulation and appropriate windows/ventilation.

GH: So could an answer be restricting residential in the city centre or having two different acoustic requirements: one in the general CBD and one in the entertainment precinct?

JS: Dunedin’s district plan requires 30dB which is the lower end. Queenstown has a limit of 40dB.

Option could be to have two noise requirements: One for the proposed Entertainment Precinct and one for the wider city centre.

Meeting ended at 4:45pm

Minutes summary LMAP meeting one 20-06-2021

In Attendance SDLM: David Bennett, Dr. Fairleigh Evelyn Gilmour, Ed Lobo, Person Wil, Dr. Marrisa Kaloga, Michael Morris

In Attendance DCC: Kirsten Glengarry, Lisa Wilkie, Antony Deaker, Ros MacGill, Glen Hazelton, Joy Lanini

1. Introductions.

2. Agreed point: SDLM argued that facilitator must be internal; Council agreed

3. Agreed point: Council suggested that some funding towards an expert in planning to outline possibilities (considering upcoming repeal of RMA) could be helpful. SDLM agreed to discuss this further on proviso the remit for expert is to provide us both with all possibilities.

4. Key Question: Who does SDLM represent? Agreed that we represent ‘popular music’ or the ‘gigging music scene’ (so acknowledging that we are not attempting to represent all potential forms of live music).

Minutes summary LMAP meeting two 03-07-2021

Topics: Noise Contol, Live Music Action Plan

In Attendance SDLM: Dr. Fairleigh Evelyn Gilmour, Ed Lobo, Person Wil, Michael Morris

In Attendance DCC: Kirsten Glengarry, Lisa Wilkie, Antony Deaker, Ros MacGill, Amie Taua

1. Both agreed that discussion about music ecosystem should include a broader range of voices and SDLM happy to collaborate with other interested parties.

2. However noise control is a specific concern for gigging musicians (who SDLM represent) and will be prioritized immediately.

3. The submissions from community to council were remarkably consistent about what we need, as were the contributions to both community huis. Further facilitation and consultation with music community should be solutions-based (ie; we don’t have to go over all the problems again, we know what they are, let’s fix them). Both agreed.

4. Key focus of meeting apart from noise control was rehearsal spaces – discussions around: how council can best support this integral aspect of music scene (ideas include how best to support business models; taking head lease on specific locations; subsidizing spaces, etc.). SDLM will consult further with the music community to find out preferred solutions.

5. Mid-size venue raised, but SDLM asked to defer discussion to meeting where other members with expertise on this were present (Dave, Jase, etc.).

Action Points:

6. Action point SDLM – send through all hui summaries

7. Action point Council – provide quotes for planning expert at next meeting.

Minutes summary LMAP meeting three 24-07-2021

Topics: Venues/Live Music Toolkit, Rehearsal Spaces

In Attendance SDLM: David Bennett, Ed Lobo, Michael Morris, Jason Schroeder, Jess Covell

In Attendance DCC: Kirsten Glengarry, Lisa Wilkie, Antony Deaker, Ros MacGill, Glen Hazelton, Mai Tamimi, Amie Taua

  1. SLDM Delivered community (Venues, D.I.Y, Musicians) feedback on toolkits approach to providing support and resources to venues and artist spaces in Dunedin, potential alteration and additions to examples provided by Ara Toi.

2. DCC and SLDM agreed that the Toolkits Approach could be a useful resource if properly implemented and supported and could tie in well with other initiatives, both agreed to move forward on this with further community consultation.

3. DCC and SDLM Discussed a Dunedin venues directory and agreed on the value of this kind of resource when paired with live music toolkit, DCC to continue work on building this list.

4. DCC and SDLM Discussed a “Red Carpet” one on one approach to guide people through the compliance process for venues and events/rehearsal studios operating in mixed use spaces, SDLM agreed to discuss further with continued community feedback.

5. SDLM Raised idea of the DCC being involved in establishing a publicly available rehearsal space, both agreed to discuss idea further.

6. SDLM Raised the point of guidance around busking and street performance, agreed to discuss further.

7. SDLM raised the idea of a streetpaper/gig guide or zine to support local artist and venues and potential synergy with other resources, both agreed it’s worth exploring and agreed to discuss further.

Minutes summary 23-11-21

In Attendance SDLM: David Bennett, Fairleigh Gilmour, Marissa Kaloga

In Attendance DCC: Kirsten Glengarry, Ros MacGill, Amie Taua

The Council showed unanimous support to the MAP update report which is very pleasing and thanks everyone for your work towards achieving this successful result. The link to the report is here:


Updates from staff

The Council’s Annual Plan meeting has been shifted to late January, allowing more time to discuss budget requirements for the MAP project.

Staff (Kirsty and Glen) are arranging a meeting with City Planning to discuss our work with sound consultant Jon Styles and will invite them to the zoom follow-up meeting Jon will provide, along with SDLM representatives.  This report is expected by the end of  November.

Staff (Kirsty and Joy) are meeting with the Parks team this week to discuss the green space events element of MAP.

Marissa, Kirsty and Amie have begun a discussion around the Systemic Change model which has been suggested for the team to use as we write and deliver the MAP,  Kirsty to follow up with Jeanette on resource to support this approach.

Kirsty will send Ros the email regarding the Police contact as they will be good to include as we widen the MAP conversation in 2022.

Next Steps

You’ll note in the report that we described our workplan in three phases, as below:

a)         Phase I – consultation with the music community to identify challenges faced

b)        Phase II – creation of the music plan (due by 30 June 2022)

c)         Phase III – delivery of the music plan

We discussed holding two meetings before year end (plus the zoom catch up with Jon Styles).

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