The Gathering considers a move north

The Dominion, 2 January 2001

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THOUSANDS of revellers partied till the sun rose over Takaka Hill yesterday morning at what will probably be the last Gathering dance party in the South Island.

Event organiser Murray Kingi said he was seriously considering moving the Golden Bay party to the North Island, mostly because of a lack of support from the Nelson and Tasman councils and local businesses.

It was probably the last time the $2 million, 72-hour event would be held in Takaka, he said.

He would also look at increasing the event in size from the present 13,000 people to 30,000.

"I'm angry that it has been so hard and it does not have to be. I would like to keep it here but I want more help and more cooperation. I just wish the business community and councils would give us a helping hand, give us a break."

Overly strict resource consent conditions and difficulty in hiring equipment were among the problems that he had faced.

It would be easier and cheaper to hold the party in the North Island, possibly near Auckland, Mr Kingi said.

The Gathering continues till midday tomorrow. It kicked off at midday on Sunday after Mr Kingi led thousands of walking revellers two kilometres up a narrow and winding road to a natural amphitheatre where the party is held.

The mostly 20-something crowd saw in the new year with a $10,000 fireworks display and a spectacular light show. -- NZPA

[Illustration] Caption: NELSON MAIL Revellers see in the new year at the Gathering dance party Supplied by New Zealand Press Association

The Dominion, 2 January 2001

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