‘Mr Miserable’ takes a caning

“Not our booming base sound” – Teejay Hemara and Carla Beazley of Zumba Tauranga. Photo: Daniel Hines.

He’s been labelled ‘Mr Miserable’, accused of being a ‘cowardly couch complainant’, and then invited to ‘enrich his life and have some fun’ by exercising with the very Zumba class his serial complaining made homeless from the Greerton Community Hall.

Zumba Tauranga has launched a caustic Facebook attack on the complainant, a neighbour living adjacent to the Greerton Hall, who filed 82 noise complainants in just two years resulting in several user groups being banned from the Greerton Hall.

In the Facebook comment on The Weekend Sun hall fiasco story, Carla Beazley suggested the complainant “move to the country, away from the vibrancy of a thriving community and build himself a soundproof bunker”.

And she also had some blunt advice for the Tauranga City Council. “Don’t indulge the bull**** of a whining individual. Instead support community groups and activities that encourage the healthy lifestyles… of your ratepayers.”

And Zumba Tauranga has the “sympathy” of Deputy Mayor, Larry Baldock. “We have these people in Tauranga, and whatever the issue, they become serial complainants. They cost a lot of man hours and a lot of money to achieve very little good.” He says he needs to investigate the level of the noise breaches, but certainly sympathised with hall users.

Zumba Tauranga classes cater for a wide range of people and nationalities, young and old, special needs participants, people living with mental illness, cancer and other illnesses. “We have the mindset the Zumba class could potentially be the best thing these people do in the day,” says Carla.

“And we give our energy, heart and soul to the class.” Not now, not in Greerton.

Because since being kicked out of Greerton Hall, Tauranga Zumba has not found an alternative venue.

Everywhere in the vicinity that is suitable is booked.

“Let’s put this into perspective,” says Carla Beazley. Tauranga Zumba was held once a week at 5.45pm – a respectable and already busy and noisy time of day.

“We are not a heavy metal band practising at random hours in a residential area. We were exercising in a retail/commercial area of Cameron Road - the busiest, noisiest road in Tauranga.”

Carla says if the class was a disruption to the ‘irrational complainant’s’ life, he could have done his shopping, gone for a walk or even joined in for exercise and fun.

And she says the complainant, “being the intolerant type,” shouldn’t have moved in next door to a community centre. “He just wanted to see how far his bark could be heard.”

She’s perplexed why one person has been pandered to so much. “If there were 50 of us, another exercise group and a church group – 100 people at a guess – surely those 100 rate payers have more say than the complainant, and better represent the community. But has anyone met with or considered us?”

In a cutting attack, Carla Beazley suggests the complainant would be lapping up the personal and media attention. “Well done buddy, you've cracked it, you're famous.”

Over the two year period ‘Mr Miserable’ was complaining, Carla says the Zumba class had council's noise control snooping around “…making us feel we were doing something wrong by exercising.”

Carla questions ‘Mr Miserable’ saying it was never his intention to have events shut down or stop people having a good time. “Really? I think you got exactly what you wanted. What you weren't counting on was being shamed for being so petty and unreasonable.” And to put the record straight, Carla Beazley says “no booming base sound” from them. They hadn’t had a noise complaint in many months after turning the music down as requested. But because another group received a complaint they got lumped in and kicked out.

The Tauranga City Council had earlier explained it was bound to enforce noise limits under the City Plan and Resource Management Act. If someone complains, then it has to investigate.

Larry Baldock says the council is unfortunately stuck with being regulator and enforcer. “However some of those breaches are so minor in the big scheme of things, I find it so frustrating. If it means changing the consent conditions as a way of avoiding future complaints, then that’s an option we should look into.”

The Deputy Mayor recalls a similar situation at the Mount Speedway. “One person made it his life’s work to complain about the speedway, and it cost a fortune.”

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