Prob­lems per­sist for Pau­ata­hanui cafe


Dar­ryl El­lis feels like he’s been fight­ing a long up­hill bat­tle against Porirua City Coun­cil and Pau­ata­hanui res­i­dents.

The owner of GroundUp has spent two years try­ing to se­cure re­source con­sent to upgrade his Pau­ata­hanui cafe.

Though the con­sent was strongly con­tested by res­i­dents, it was given the green light in Novem­ber.

How­ever, El­lis said he was still fac­ing prob­lems. ‘‘I’ve been treated ter­ri­bly. I feel like I’ve been bul­lied,’’ he said.

The con­sent per­mit­ted the num­ber of cafe pa­trons to in­crease from 35 to 65 and for a car park, suit­able for 22 ve­hi­cles, to be built.

El­lis paid $40,000 to get work done on his prop­erty in 2013. When he then ap­plied for re­source con­sent, his to­tal out­go­ings jumped to more than $120,000.

‘‘Noth­ing seems to add up. Ap­par­ently I’m chang­ing the face of the vil­lage, but all I’m try­ing to do is run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.’’

El­lis said he was given a short time pe­riod to com­plete the car park work and that he told the coun­cil it would be dif­fi­cult to get con­trac­tors on site be­fore Christ­mas.

He re­ceived a $300 in­fringe­ment no­tice for not hav­ing the work fin­ished be­fore this month.

‘‘The coun­cil are five months be­hind on their pro­ject in the CBD; I’m five days and they’re giv­ing me a fine. It’s not on.’’

The coun­cil has agreed to waive the in­fringe­ment no­tice if the work is com­pleted by March 9.

Sur­vey­ing his mount­ing costs, El­lis said he would need to sell a lot of cof­fees to keep his busi­ness go­ing.

He said he would take the coun­cil to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Court to re­cover some re­source con­sent costs.

‘‘I don’t know what Porirua City Coun­cil is do­ing to lo­cal busi­ness, but it’s ridicu­lous.’’

El­lis has owned

the Pau­ata­hanui busi­ness for eight years.

Adrian Ra­m­age, the coun­cil’s act­ing gen­eral man­ager of en­vi­ron­ment and reg­u­la­tory ser­vices, said the costs in­curred dur­ing the con­sent process were rea­son­able.

The process had been dif­fi­cult and re­quired con­sid­er­able time, he said. ‘‘We have main­tained an im­par­tial ap­proach with the ap­pli­cant and ob­jec­tors, and fo­cused on key is­sues,’’ Ra­m­age said.

‘‘Get­ting to the point where the pro­posed plan matched what was re­quired by the re­source con­sent was more in­volved than in some other con­sents.’’


Cafe owner Dar­ryl El­lis can­not un­der­stand why peo­ple are against him in Pau­ata­hanui.

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