Num­bers swell at re­lo­cated mar­ket

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The pop­u­lar­ity of the re­lo­cated Ti­tahi Bay Lions mar­ket con­tin­ues to grow.

Af­ter fail­ing to reach an agree­ment with Porirua City Coun­cil, about con­tin­u­ing in the Cob­ham Court car park, the Lions moved their mar­ket to the back of Wai­tan­girua Mall on May 2.

Lions pres­i­dent Chris Jones said there was nat­u­ral anx­i­ety about the move, re­gard­ing public at­ten­dance and stall­hold­ers’ par­tic­i­pa­tion, but such fears had quickly dis­si­pated.

‘‘It’s been so much bet­ter than we ex­pected,’’ he said. ‘‘We were hop­ing for close to 40 stalls and we have 55, with ev­ery­thing from food to sec­ond­hand goods.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely be­come more than a mar­ket – it’s a meet­ing place, and as long as it’s do­ing well and peo­ple are happy, we’ll stay right where we are.’’

Jones said the swelling pop­u­lar­ity – which in­cluded peo­ple com­ing from Welling­ton and the Hutt Val­ley – meant more money was be­ing col­lected that would be sunk back into the com­mu­nity.

On one re­cent Satur­day, the Lions took in $1800, much more than was ever taken in a day at Cob­ham Court.

It showed that, if man­aged well, a mar­ket could suc­ceed any­where, Jones said.

‘‘This is a com­mu­nity-based mar­ket and what it shows is that the com­mu­nity is back­ing us.’’

Get­ting power prop­erly linked to the mar­ket was still a work in progress, he said, but hav­ing a room in the build­ing for a toi­let and first aid area was among im­prove­ments that were be­ing made. Vol­un­teers had cleared rub­bish from the room and made three trips to the land­fill.

As long as the coun­cil was plan­ning a ma­jor re­vamp of the city cen­tre, there would be no place for the Lions mar­ket, Jones said.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the city coun­cil was fo­cus­ing on an im­proved ex­pe­ri­ence in the city cen­tre. Whether that in­volved another mar­ket re­mained to be seen.

He said he was happy the Lions mar­ket had found a good home and wanted the public to con­tinue to help it thrive.

He con­ceded the coun­cil could have done things bet­ter in its deal­ings with the Lions, but the point was the city still had a mar­ket.

‘‘We want it to suc­ceed, wher­ever it op­er­ates. We can’t change the things we can’t change and this has been a good ex­am­ple of the com­mu­nity driv­ing some­thing,’’ he said.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

The thriv­ing Satur­day mar­ket at Wai­tan­girua.

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