What do you expect?

May 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Meet the latest threat to public safety and civil order — 59-year-old Warriors supporter Tony Waring.

The long-time fan was barred from entering last week’s match against Canberra at Eden Park because he was carrying a sign in support of Mt Smart Stadium.

The sign was deemed “inflammatory” by security and Waring was forced to hand it over.

During the mandatory search, a security official found his A3-size sign which read “Stay Smart; Say no to Eden Park” and told Waring: “I’m not sure if you can take that in” before summoning his supervisor.

“I didn’t think I had anything to fear,” recalls Waring, who had used similar signs since last season when the shift to Eden Park was mooted.

Stadiums are commercial enterprises that compete and need revenue to survive.

Mr Waring thought that going to a game at Eden Park with a sign saying “Say no to Eden Park” would be fine.

Why would Eden Park allow that?

Mr Waring can advocate against Eden Park almost anywhere he wants to – at home, on the Internet, in public. But not at Eden Park itself. It is not a public place. It is a private stadium.

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25 Responses to “What do you expect?”

  1. lazza (401 comments) says:

    Interested in”your take”on this one … could have been totally the “other way”. After all it is a free world.

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  2. Nuwanda (83 comments) says:

    You’re on dangerous ground here, DPF: advocating that a private facility can determine the rules of entry and participation. Next you’ll be suggesting that restaurants and bars should be able to permit smoking, or some such other bizarre expression of private property rights.

    Careful.

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  3. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    Lazza,

    How could have it been the “other way”? Eden Park is a private company and as such has authority over what views may be expressed within its premises.

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  4. Northland Wahine (673 comments) says:

    If Mr Waring wanted to make the ultimate protest and boycotted the game.

    Simple as.

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  5. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    Next you’ll be suggesting that restaurants and bars should be able to permit smoking, or some such other bizarre expression of private property rights.

    They can’t permit smoking because statute law specifically outlawing smoking in such places trumps property rights.

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  6. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    Mr Waring can advocate against Eden Park almost anywhere he wants to – at home, on the Internet, in public. But not at Eden Park itself. It is not a public place. It is a private stadium.

    Or he can try to advocate at Eden Park, be kicked out by the over officious morons who run the ground – then he gets to advocate in national media.

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  7. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Surely it depends on the conditions of entry. If sign are allowed, do the conditions regulate what sort of messages might be displayed. I’d imagine there is some provision against offensive language, but not a sign such as this. If he had a ticket, he should sue.

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  8. iMP (2,457 comments) says:

    private property rights vs freedom of speech. If he was wearing a T-shirt said the same thing, would they literally take the shirt off his back. Corporate fear, loosen up people. This is not North Korea. let the man say his thing.

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  9. dime (10,215 comments) says:

    its like walking into Coke HQ for a product launch holding a sign that says Pepsi is way nicer.

    youre gonna get the ass.

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  10. RAS (63 comments) says:

    Eden Park has the right to reject his sign if it IS private property, but not if the stadium subsidized by the taxpayer. If so, the guy surely has some limited rights as a part owner.

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  11. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Makes a banner “Say no to Eden Park”

    :mad:

    Purchases tickets to a game at Eden Park

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  12. m@tt (636 comments) says:

    If you want to take the ‘private company’ defence to their actions then whether they can legally take his sign from him when entering will depend on the contract he entered into when he purchased his ticket. They can’t just make up the rules when he arrives. Maybe their fine print allows for it, maybe it doesn’t. Probably there is a catch all that they can apply.

    Either way they’ve raised the profile of his argument significantly, and you’re continuing that. I’m sure he’ll be very happy.

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  13. dime (10,215 comments) says:

    “Eden Park has the right to reject his sign if it IS private property, but not if the stadium subsidized by the taxpayer. If so, the guy surely has some limited rights as a part owner.”

    using that argument i had a sail on the TEAM NZ boat.. spent a few days watching the hobbit being filmed.. sometimes i crash at state houses instead of hotels

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  14. Nuwanda (83 comments) says:

    “They can’t permit smoking because statute law specifically outlawing smoking in such places trumps property rights.”

    Goodness, what a stunningly obtuse view. What the law says is not the issue when you’re discussing ideals, that is: what the law should or should not say.

    The point is that if a private property owner can determine the conditions of entry and participation what principle is being applied? The law does not proscribe whom Eden Park may allow entry to based upon the principle that Eden Park is a private operation that can determine what’s in its own best commercial interests. And if it can be applied in that instance, why not in others?

    Oh, right, because there’s a statute! Unfortunately, confusing what’s right and wrong (rights) with what the law says is pretty common these days. I suppose if statute law forced Eden Park to allow anyone in regardless of perceived damage to their commercial interests that we could all rest assured that no rights were being violated because the law had conveniently negated them.

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  15. martinh (1,272 comments) says:

    I agree with what hes saying, good for him

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  16. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    On the sporting side the warriors seem to be doing everything wrong at the moment. Going to Eden Park when their fan base clearly prefers Mt smart seems to be alienating a lot of fans, not just Mister Waring.
    And the wisdom of giving the assistant coach a contract until 2017 as the senior coach when he has only been in charge of the senior team for 4 games seems to be quite frankly ludicrous.
    The Warriors seem to have a lot of problems in the highest rank of management and leadership and that gets reflected on the field and now is getting reflected in the discontent of the fans.
    What the Warriors need is good leadership from the top.

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  17. m@tt (636 comments) says:

    dime. I understand your point but the analogy is that you had purchased a ticket to go on the Team New Zealand boat and they wouldn’t let you take your ‘Go Oracle!’ sign on board. In reality they’d probably let you on and then biff you overboard once they were up to speed.

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  18. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Have taxpayers never funded eden park?

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  19. Ashley Schaeffer (535 comments) says:

    That it took a mandatory search to locate the sign indicates Mr Waring had some idea it wouldn’t be well received.

    Barring him from the stadium was a tad overzealous though and showed a level of pettiness from the officials. Simply taking the sign off him and letting him carry on into the stadium would have been sufficient.

    Do I think they should have taken the sign off him at all? Nah, it’s pretty harmless stuff really.

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  20. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    At least we know that Eden park won’t be getting any more funding from the state trough. Political advocacy is not the reason we (the taxpayers and ratepayers) have provided about $250million in the last decade.

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  21. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    It shouldn’t be Eden Parks terms as they are assumedly sub-letting the premises to the Warriors/NRL for the game.

    If I hire a hall I don’t expect the hall to tell me what the attendees can do outside of the contract I signed with the hall. If I hired the hall to run a fundraiser on why the hall sucks then if the contract doesn’t exclude it, why the hell shouldn’t the attendees be allowed to enter with what ever signs please them?

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  22. mikemikemikemike (334 comments) says:

    It’s not private, I believe my rates and taxes pay for that silly fucken stadium to be there…that makes it as public as a park or the viaduct IMO.

    It doesn’t take away from the guy choosing a daft way to make a point, however don’t pretend that place is private when it is funded using public money.

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  23. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    There are numerous examples of people and organisations who are confident enough of the rightness of their position to be comfortable tolerating opposing viewpoints.

    John Key, for example, tolerates opposing views on his Facebook page. In turn I, and many others, admire his commitment to genuine freedom of speech, even when that may disagree with his views.

    And there are plenty of examples of those with a totalitarian mindset, who clearly believe their position on issues will be shown to be false if challenged, who do everything in their power to stifle dissent.

    I didn’t have a view on the issue raised by Mr Waring till now. But on the basis of Eden Park’s fear that a simple sign is enough to undermine their argument, I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s right.

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  24. jcuk (757 comments) says:

    It was a sad day for this country when the law was changed to stop people controlling what was going on in/on their/or leased property. That they might want to exercise that right, which apparently they may not have, becomes one of judgement … in this case a pretty crass choice. People are so often pre-occup[ied with their ‘rights’ to the exclusion of their responsibilities as a citizen of a/this country.

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  25. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    I’m sure that Eden Park have the right to take his sign off him, one way or another. But let’s talk about whether they should have exercised that right. Let’s talk about the Streisand effect, let’s talk about the fact that next time he’ll bring a blank piece of paper and a vivid marker instead of an already written out sign, let’s talk about how petty and stupid they look right now. Just because they have a right to do something doesn’t mean they’re wise to exercise it.

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