Sunlive News: 21 March 2013: Tauranga City Council’s special bylaw aimed at banning topless women riding through town on motorbikes was passed this week.
The changes to Tauranga’s Street Use and Public Places Bylaw were called for after promoter Steve Crow rode over the previous one when he brought the Boobs on Bikes parade to Tauranga in August 2011.
Councillors attempted to stop the parade by denying a permit, but were unable to as under the old bylaw a parade could only be halted due to traffic management issues.
Claims that the parade is offensive are ineffectual because the New Zealand High Court has ruled that it is not an offence for a woman to bare her breasts in public.
The revamped section 19 of the bylaw still uses ‘offensive’ as a reason to ban a parade, but it has gone a step further.
Under the changes council can refuse permission if the parade gives rise to some form of public disorder, for example, whether viewed objectively it may have a reasonable likelihood of dissuading others from enjoying their right to use the public place by entering or remaining in it.
In other words, if the council staff think some people might want to stay away from the city while the parade goes past, or because of any other assembly in town, then that is a reason to ban it.
A parade can also now be banned if council reasonably believes the activity will unreasonably impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic access to or along any public place or to any shops or premises.
“We will probably end up in court anyway, but we will have some grounds,” says corporate solicitor Joanne Gread.
Source: Article by Andrew Campbell
Thursday 21st Mar, 2013
Wednesday 13th June 2012
On October 12th, 2008, former ACT Part MP Stephen Franks wrote on his blog on the Subject “Boobs on Bikes”
How will Morning Report reflect candidate comments on Steve Crow’s plan to run his Boobs on Bikes parade in Wellington on election day?
When Radio NZ called this evening I found myself resenting the attention to Crow’s stunt, and wanting to find some way to make the issue so boring that RNZ would drop the item. Before calling RNZ back I wondered whether my instinct was just envy, prompted by the lack of RNZ interest in what seem to me more important questions facing Wellington voters.
I felt my resentment was not prudery, because I could not imaging myself being offended by the parade, even if it seems tawdry. Pictures of the Auckland parade make the crowds seem curious but shortchanged more than anything else.
The Radio NZ interest shows that Crow will attract enough controversy to mix with titillation to get his crowds. I’d be very surprised if the Wellington City Council could stop the parade. I’m not sure that they should be free to stop it.
So why would I prefer Crow to fail?
I think it is because exploitation of the power to cause offence is such a cheap tactic, and because it cheapens those whose reactions make it work, yet if they do not react their values are cheapened.
Many things cause offense to some section of our community that do not offend others. For example some Christians are deeply offended by blasphemy. Some conscience stricken liberals are upset by ethnic stereotype jokes. Some Maori are put off by people sitting on tables where food is served. None of those behaviours would upset me, except in one circumstance – that is where there are people present who do find them offensive.
In that case I feel embarrassed in anticipation of the rudeness shown by causing such offense, even where I can not feel the underlying offense.
I think we should feel vicarious offense on behalf of our fellows, where the offense is pointless, and able to be avoided with simple good manners. A civilised society has social pressures to sustain such manners. Causing pointless offence should have a cost that outweighs the benefits from challenging a taboo to gain notoriety for its own sake.
Succcess for Steve Crow’s stunt weakens those social sanctions. His parade will be offensive to some sincere people. Crow’s cause is Crow’s mercenary interest. And so, because he is likely to benefit from the media interest, and the portrayal of at least some of those who will be offended as fuddy-duddy, I hope that he falls on his face, without much expectation that it will happen.
I covered this briefly with Radio NZ. I wonder how much of this angle will be in their item in the morning?