Residents oppose market
NIGHT markets set to start operating in Onehunga next month will cause traffic chaos, noise and litter problems, say those living next to the site of the new addition to the suburb’s evening scene.
But the man behind the markets says the Thursday night events will be low key, family friendly and refined.
Paul De Jonge has for the last two years run a night market in Pakuranga that sees up to 12,000 people head along for international street-style food and other stalls every Saturday.
He has other markets up and running in Glenfield and Papatoetoe and says all have proved to be a great addition to the suburbs.
Onehunga’s will be about half the size of the Pakuranga version – which has 200 stalls, around 80 of which are food – and Mr De Jonge envisages it becoming similarly attractive if on a smaller scale.
The market will run from 6pm till 10pm every Thursday and was originally due to kick off in the Dressmart carpark next week.
After ‘‘bumping into a bit more red tape’’ things have been put off until February.
But some residents on streets surrounding Dressmart say they would rather it stayed grounded permanently.
Church St neighbours Aaron Eruera, Don and Colleen Hodges and Karen Murray only learned of the development after reading about it in the Central Leader earlier this month.
All live across from the Dressmart car park and believe the market will have adverse effects.
They are concerned about an influx of stallholders further clogging up the already very busy Church St, noise until the market closes at 10pm and beyond as the clean-up takes place, and rubbish accumulating on the streets.
They also say Onehunga’s existing food businesses will suffer.
‘‘We live with Dressmart and it’s not too bad, it finishes at 5pm and it stops dead, but we’re dealing with something different here,’’ Mrs Hodges says.
‘‘It’s an unknown quantity. As ratepayers we should have some say, this is quite major and I thought we could have been consulted.’’
In Pakuranga the markets are held in a car park beneath The Warehouse.
Mrs Hodges says there the distance between houses and the shopping centre is much greater than in Onehunga where ‘‘there are houses on three streets surrounding Dressmart’’.
Karen Murray says other sites would be better suited.
‘‘What about Mt Smart Stadium or Waikaraka Park? If it was twice a year we’d join in but every Thursday – we just don’t need it.’’
Mr De Jonge says he was surprised to hear people were not looking forward to the market starting up.
‘‘I’ve had nothing but positive feedback, I thought everybody was 100 per cent behind it.
‘‘I think once they see it up and running they will realise it’s a positive thing like in Pakuranga and Glenfield where we have nothing but praise and support.’’
He says the markets run like clockwork and Onehunga will be smaller and offer a ‘‘slightly more refined menu’’.
He had intended to do a letter drop to inform residents of the plans and provide some more detailed information but in the planning rush it was overlooked.
He is confident the market will be a positive addition to Onehunga.
‘‘There will be a bit of activity but nothing that’s really going to disturb people.
‘‘The council has been very strict about ensuring we’re not doing anything to disturb the neighbours and they are certain it won’t bother anybody.’’
He says he is willing to talk to anyone if they have concerns.
No thanks: Some Church St residents are upset by the prospect of a night market running in the Dressmart carpark every Thursday night, right across from where they live. From left: Aaron Eruera, Don and Colleen Hodges, and Karen Murray.
Bustling, left: The Auckland night market in Pakuranga. A scaled-down version is planned for Onehunga.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see a video of the Pakuranga Night Market.