Sex expo gets cool response

Waikato Times 18 Nov 2011
Hamilton councillors will decide whether a sex expo should be held in the city’s events centre. Council staff are worried that suggestive billboards could offend some Hamilton residents if the Erotica Lifestyles Expo is allowed to go ahead at the city’s cash-strapped Claudelands Arena. The council has been approached by Eden Digital Media to book Claudelands for the expo in March, but staff have passed the decision to councillors because of concerns over “ethical or moral impacts on the community” and the likely content of billboards advertising the event. The arena is struggling for business and faces at least a million-dollar loss in its first year. Mayor Julie Hardaker said she had an “an open mind” to the idea – until she received a report from her council staff. “I’ve got an open mind at the moment because we’re receiving a report to the council meeting on it, but in the main I’m not supportive of those sorts of events,” she said. “It’s like Boobs on Bikes, is that the right kind of event for a city like ours?” She had to consider whether events like Erotica were “the right fit” for a “family-friendly” city like Hamilton. She supported people having the right to choose whether they attended events of this nature but admitted she had not attended an Erotica expo herself, and didn’t plan to. “No, that sort of event is not my cup of tea.”