Wedding nightmare Venue filthy night before nuptials

16:00, Jan 20 2014
Wedding Toast
RISKY: Couples who get married at council facilities might not get quite what they bargained for.

A newlywed woman is warning loved-up couples to think twice before getting married on council property.

Christina Olsen hired Papakura's Elizabeth Campbell Centre for her wedding but she arrived the night before to discover the Auckland Council-owned hall was "absolutely filthy".

"We were horrified and disgusted at the state the hall was in," she says.

In 10 minutes the Papakura woman and her groom had collected half a bag of rubbish, including two condoms from the overgrown garden.

The ladies' toilet was blocked, the vanities were covered in dirt and dust and a used sanitary pad sat in a bucket.

The rubbish bin was full, the fridge held rotten food and the stench of urine in the men's toilet was so bad Ms Olsen was dry-retching.


Scrawled across the men's mirror were the words "Kill You".

An urgent plea for the council to clean the hall that night went unanswered.

In the end the wedding party did the cleaning themselves.

The council eventually refunded Ms Olsen's money but she worries the same thing could happen to others.

Ms Olsen took her case to the Papakura Local Board.

She told members she's still "absolutely ropeable" despite receiving "profuse apologies" from the council.

Mrs Olsen says she would still recommend people use council facilities but they need to be looked after locally, not run out of an office in central Auckland.

Council community facilities manager Kevin Marriott says users are responsible for cleaning the venue after each use.

Records show the council's cleaners had done their jobs and the mess was the fault of the last group to hire the hall.

A miscommunication meant the cleaners did not respond to Ms Olsen's emergency call-out the night before her wedding.

"This emergency request to clean was checked against the regular cleaning schedule and an assumption was made the job had been completed."

The Elizabeth Campbell Centre is cleaned regularly, and though it is old and needs refurbishing there are no major issues, he says.

Papakura Courier