Canaan Downs readied for The Gathering
Preliminary work on the Canaan Downs site for The Gathering has almost been completed.
Murray Kingi and Hamish Bruce have been preparing the Takaka Hill site for technicians who arrive on Boxing Day to set up for the New Year's Eve dance party estimated to attract 12,000 people. Trenches have been dug to lay cables which will power numerous facilities, such as video screens, lights, sound systems and food stalls.
As there is no power supply to the Canaan Downs site, special low-noise generators, usually used on film sets, have been installed. Fences and structures have been erected and portaloos put in place.
"We are basically creating a small city up here for three or four days," said co-organiser Alison Green. "We do not mess around when we set up. It has to be done properly," she said.
A resource consent has been lodged with the Tasman District Council and negotiations with Transit and the police have been carried out "successfully". "The support from these agencies has been really good," Ms Green said. "People have realised that The Gathering makes a positive impact on the community. They recognise that we want to make it as hassle-free and beneficial to the community as possible."
Detective Sergeant Derek Milne of Motueka police said negotiations with Ms Green and other organisers had been "very productive". He said organisers had taken some responsible steps to ensure matters such as transport, fire safety, access to the venue and security had been addressed.
Alpha Security Services, a Richmond-based firm, will have sixty personnel at the event, concentrating mainly on traffic in and out of the area. Mr Milne would not confirm whether there would be a police presence at the site this year, but said police had "contingency plans" in the event of any criminal behaviour at or around the venue.