Public complaints not a factor in Venues Ōtautahi’s decision to drop Linehan event

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 12, 2024 |

The boss of Venues Ōtautahi said it received 15 complaints on its decision to allow writer Graham Linehan to speak at Hadlee Pavilion, but that didn’t influence its decision to decline the event.

Linehan, co-creator of popular TV comedies such as ‘Big Train’, ‘Father Ted’, and ‘The IT Crowd’, was cancelled “last-minute” by the Christchurch City Council-owned company.

Free Speech Union’s Jonathan Ayling told The Platform the commercial manager of Venues Ōtautahi called him to say they couldn’t go ahead with the booking because “March was too busy.”

In a written statement, Venues Ōtautahi CEO Caroline Harvie-Teare said the booking was declined due to there being insufficient resources available.

She said the booking was never confirmed or contract executed with the deposit yet to be received by Venues Ōtautahi.

“Venues Ōtautahi has the right to decline an event at any time if the event has not been confirmed contracted and deposit received.”

March was forecast to be the busiest month on record for Venues Ōtautahi since the 2010/2011 earthquakes she said.

“During the week the event was scheduled, there were 14 events being delivered across the suite of venues.

“The nature of the event and venue required additional senior staff, none of which were available due to already being deployed at other venues and events” Harvie-Teare said.

“Venues Ōtautahi received around 15 complaints from the public with respect to the acceptance of this event. These complaints have not contributed to the decision to decline the event.

 “Venues Ōtautahi decline to speak in person with regard to this matter and have no further comment to make at this time.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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