Coun­cil makes food truck U-turn

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - TOM CARNEGIE

‘‘Every time I would en­quire ... I just kept get­ting the same flat re­sponse - no.’’

For two years Auck­land Coun­cil mis­tak­enly blocked a street food ven­dor from trad­ing in the CBD.

Steve Cop­pard owns Rock Dogs, a com­pany that sells lo­cally man­u­fac­tured mo­bile hot dog carts to clients through­out New Zealand.

Cop­pard said he ap­proached Auck­land Coun­cil nu­mer­ous times over the past two years to ap­ply for a li­cense to op­er­ate the food carts at pub­lic sites in the CBD.

‘‘Every time I would en­quire or look to ap­ply for a li­cense I just kept get­ting the same flat re­sponse - no,’’ Cop­pard said.

‘‘The street trad­ing de­part­ment would tell me they don’t sup­port any mo­bile food trad­ing in the city and I would have to ap­proach pri­vate landown­ers,’’ Cop­pard said.

Cop­pard said while there are sev­eral pri­vately owned com­mer­cial sites in the CBD that al­lowed food trucks and carts to op­er­ate, they were not suit­able for full time oc­cu­pancy.

‘‘In most other cities, in­clud­ing Nel­son, Welling­ton, Tau­ranga there is a way to op­er­ate a food truck or cart in the CBD.

‘‘But this just does not seem to be the case for Auck­land,’’ Cop­pard said.

The re­jec­tions Cop­pard re­ceived con­flicted with Auck­land Coun­cil’s by­law that any­one can ap­ply to op­er­ate a mo­bile food cart in the CBD.

When Stuff queried the coun­cil on the by­law it ac­knowl­edged a mis­take had been made.

Auck­land Coun­cil by­laws and com­pli­ance man­ager Max Wilde said the coun­cil em­ployee who re­sponded to Cop­pard was in­cor­rect to say there was no mo­bile trad­ing in the CBD.

‘‘We are sorry to learn of the con­fu­sion around mo­bile trad­ing in the CBD, and would like to take the op­por­tu­nity to apol­o­gise for the word­ing that has been used,’’ Wilde said.

He said while find­ing suit­able sites in the CBD could be dif­fi­cult, coun­cil was now work­ing to iden­tify pos­si­ble sites for small ven­dors.

‘‘We have ad­vised staff that it is in­cor­rect to say there is no mo­bile trad­ing in the CBD, and in­stead asked them to make ap­pli­cants aware of the po­ten­tial chal­lenges of find­ing a suit­able lo­ca­tion,’’ Wilde said.

Cop­pard said while he is dis­ap­pointed by the mis­take, he is ex­cited to have the op­por­tu­nity to re-en­gage with the coun­cil.

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