50 years ago: New Zealand civic leaders debate whether to throw a welcome party for the Beatles

Looking back on the Beatles' tour there in 1964, the New Zealand Herald writes about the civic debate that erupted over whether to use public funds to hold an official reception for the band upon its arrival.
When it was announced that the mayor would give an informal civic welcome for the Beatles at the Town Hall, tentatively planned for 24 June and restricted to teenagers, the storm clouds gathered. Robbie's chief adversary was Auckland Rugby Football Union president, Tom Pearce.

"Last evening I welcomed home a team of footballers," he informed the city council. "They were all fine young men but there was no civic or mayoral reception for them. If we are going to pander to the hysteria, antics, adulation, rioting, screaming and roaring, and all the things these bewigged musicians engender then I think we should make a point of honouring any youths with a sporting background who are at least endeavouring to act in the best traditions of the young men of this nation."

Sir Keith Park insisted that future civic receptions and welcomes should be limited to "very important people" in order to conserve public money and the time of council staff, weighing in with "I have nothing to say against the Beatles. They give an immense amount of pleasure and fun to thousands of young people. It is not up to us older ones to deny them this childish entertainment."
Also at the Herald, a feature story that looks at the band's activity in the country day-by-day.