Gathering may stay at Takaka Hill - organisers

Nelson Mail, 7 January 1998

Organisers of the Gathering have not ruled out the possibility of using Canaan Downs on Takaka Hill for the next New Year's dance party.

"With some really thorough brainstorming and thinking of logistics, we will see if it's possible," Jose Cachemaille, one of the Gathering's four organisers, said yesterday. She said organisers would like to keep the event at the same site, but would be guided by the community's wishes. On New year's Eve, Ms Cachemaille said the Gathering would definitely not be held at Canaan Downs again, but since then many people had contacted her asking for it to stay.

The narrow road to the site was the main problem, with traffic jams clogging State Highway 60 on Takaka Hill and frustrating locals. Sergeant Jim Burrows of Motueka police said today some people were upset to have missed a funeral and others a wedding because they were stuck in the traffic jam on Takaka Hill.

"I really don't think it will be possible to hold it there again," he said.

Ms Cachemaille said discussions would be held with police, Transit New Zealand and the community, as well as a debriefing of staff involved in the Gathering over the next month, before a decision would be made.

Nelson Mail, 7 January 1998

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