Mar­kets tri­umph

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By SIMON SMITH

PEO­PLE told Vic­to­ria and Paul De Jonge their idea of a night mar­ket in Auck­land would fail.

‘‘Even my brother said to me: ‘It’s not go­ing to work’,’’ Mrs De Jonge says.

But the naysay­ers were wrong. Around 10,000 peo­ple go to each of the Paku­ranga and Glen­field mar­kets held in un­der­cover car parks each week.

The Auck­land Night Mar­kets have proved so suc­cess­ful that this month the Re­muera cou­ple will start two new ones at One­hunga Dress-Smart on Thurs­days and an­other at Hunters Plaza in Pa­p­a­toe­toe on Fri­days.

The De Jonges owned a restau­rant and bar in China for six years be­fore start­ing the first mar­ket at Paku­ranga in Oc­to­ber 2010.

‘‘In Shang­hai we saw this sort of thing all the time but here there’s no nightlife,’’ Mrs De Jonge says.

‘‘Peo­ple told us Ki­wis don’t like to go out on a Satur­day, but I said to Paul: ‘No that’s be­cause there’s nowhere for them to go’.’’

She says there are lim­ited things to do at night for young fam­i­lies and teenagers.

‘‘Chil­dren just go to movies, there’s nowhere for them to go.’’

Mrs De Jonge knew the ex­per­i­ment was a gam­ble and stall­hold­ers might leave if peo­ple did not come – but that was not to be the case.

‘‘Af­ter the first night I knew this mar­ket would not fail.’’

The Satur­day night mar­ket has since run weekly and is full to ca­pac­ity with about 200 stalls.

The Glen­field ver­sion sprang up a year later and vis­i­tors ex­pe­ri­ence food from all over the globe.

Peo­ple of di­verse eth­nic­i­ties min­gle while lis­ten­ing to live mu­sic and brows­ing a wide range of goods. It is a fam­ily-friendly at­mos­phere with no al­co­hol.

Mrs De Jonge says se­cu­rity is there if needed but in­ci­dents are rare with so many peo­ple around.

Stall­hold­ers must ap­ply to Auck­land Coun­cil for a mar­ket food li­cence and the De Jonges re­quire each to have good hy­giene, as well as a fire ex­tin­guisher.

Photo: SIMON SMITH

Vi­sion re­alised: Street mar­kets were a part of ev­ery­day life when Paul De Jonge ran a restau­rant and bar in Shang­hai with his wife. Now with the success of their two weekly Auck­land Night Mar­kets the cou­ple is launch­ing a third and fourth.

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