Market umbrellas at dawn in Porirua
‘‘We feel the Waitangirua Shopping Mall location was working well to bring Porirua together. ’’
Will the real Saturday morning market please stand up?
While the Porirua Saturday Market, run by the Lions Club of Titahi Bay, will continue offering fruit and vegetables from the Waitangirua Shopping Mall carpark, Porirua City Council has announced that a new Cobham Court Farmers Market will run at similar times on Saturdays in the CBD from October 14.
The new market, owned and operated by a pair of city centre food kiosk managers, will be targeted more toward artisan foods and crafts.
However, Titahi Bay Lions treasurer John Linschoten said time would tell if the area could support two markets.
‘‘We feel the Waitangirua Shopping Mall location was working well to bring Porirua together.
‘‘Hopefully it will continue to do so for the future. We live in a competitive world these days.’’
The club, which had overseen a fruit and vegetable market in Cobham Ct since 1997, shifted its market to Waitangirua after failing to reach an agreement with the council over improvements the council wanted to improve its vibrancy back in 2015.
‘‘We were interested [in] Cobham Ct, though we tend to find the current market was not the right feel for those pulling the strings within council.’’
The Key Performance Indicators for the Cobham Ct tender would have been difficult for the club to attain long-term, he said.
Cobham Court Farmers Mar- ket owners and operators Derek Rolls and Rick Unuia said they want to offer the full market experience, with paddock-to-plate fare from makers, bakers and growers.
Rolls said the pair were targeting organic and spray-free smaller niche growers. ‘‘Our aim is to have a core of regular top quality stall holders, with others rotating in around the seasonal changes, such as avocado and citrus growers.’’
Porirua City Council city growth and strategic property manager Darryn Grant said the Cobham Court Farmers Market ‘‘will be a new experience for Porirua and different to what is on offer through the Lions’’.
‘‘Council feels that both markets offer positive benefits for building the community and providing even more opportunity for visitor attraction in the city.’’
There was a desire for a nicheoffering centred around artisan food, crafts, and local labels ‘‘to add to the beautification and revitalisation work underway in the city centre’’.
He said the council did not receive a proposal from the Lions club when it requested them earlier this year.
In an attempt to give the market a boost in 2012, the council extended the closing hours and, in 2013, it installed power and water in Cobham Ct at a cost of $134,000.
The original Lions Club of Titahi Bay’s Porirua Saturday Market at Cobham Court in 2005. Titahi Bay Lions treasurer John Linschoten