Market comparisons ‘unfair’
An Alexandra food and produce market would not survive if the council enforced a commercial rate for stallholders to use a park to sell produce, the market manager says.
Alexandra Friday Food and Produce Market manager Adrienne Lamb appealed to the Vincent Community Board that a proposed commercial rate of $143 per day would be unviable and the market would close. The current agreement is $37 per market.
The board rejected a recommendation from Parks team leader Ian Mann who proposed they offer a 40 per cent discount off the commercial hire rate of $143 per day for Pioneer Park for the 2017-18 financial year.
That fee would be consistent with the Saturday market. He also recommended a review of the fees and charges for the market hire of Pioneer Park as part of the Long Term Plan. Instead, the board put forward a motion to discount the commercial rate by 70 per cent.
Lamb said even with the 40 per cent discount, long-term the financial cost could still close the market which runs all year round.
‘‘In the winter it will struggle. That is the reality.’’
Mann said he supported parks being used but the council needed to be consistent.
‘‘It is clearly a commercial activity...all hire feeds go into the cost centre that offsets maintenance costs of the park...fees help us keep rates down.’’
Board member and councillor Malcolm Topliss said the Friday market and Saturday market could not be ‘‘fairly’’ compared.
‘‘The Friday market is most of the year and only has about six to eight stalls so they use a much smaller area and you have valued that somehow at $143. This suggestion of a 40 per cent discount - I don’t see any fair comparison between the Saturday market and the Friday market. I would suggest there needs to be a rate for winter and a rate for summer for a start...I cannot see the logic in what you are suggesting... This is a quality market and I don’t want to see it lost. I don’t want to see it fall over because we have pushed it up.’’
Mann said keeping the status quo of $37 per market was ‘‘not an option’’ as that was a rate for noncommerical activities, but the board could consider a higher discount.
Board member Russell Garbutt put forward a motion to discount the rate by 70 per cent, which was adopted.