Council makes food truck U-turn
‘‘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.