INDEPENDENT NEWS

Brash Goes In to Bat for Auckland Restauranteurs

Published: Tue 6 Sep 2011 10:25 AM
Brash Goes In to Bat for Auckland Restauranteurs
ACT Party Leader Don Brash says local council officials in Auckland should embrace the World Cup spirit and show some Kiwi camaraderie by easing up on restrictive bylaws and giving restaurant owners not based in 'Party Central' a fair crack.
Dr Brash was responding to New Zealand Herald reports that bar and restaurant owners anxious to extend World Cup hospitality have been warned they could face prosecution.
"Local officials need to get into the spirit of things and start getting behind local businesses, not making life hard for them", Dr Brash said.
"I've had first-hand reports from several of these small business owners, and all they really want is to make the most of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Pubs and restaurants close to Eden Park have already had to pay thousands of dollars just for approval to operate on match nights, unlike their counterparts in 'Party Central' on Queen's Wharf.
"No one wants to see the law being broken," says Dr Brash "but Council officials need to loosen up and show some flexibility.
"Not all Rugby fans and tourists want to be corralled into 'Party Central' - Auckland's got a lot more to offer.
"Restauranteurs and publicans have a great, one-off opportunity to showcase the rich array of great Kiwi hospitality the city has to offer, both in the inner city and on the outskirts.
"A lot of enterprising people, just keen to provide a great kiwi experience, have had their ideas knocked back.
"I've been told of one restauranteur being refused permission to allow buskers outside his establishment. Resource consent has been refused for street stalls. A proposal to hold a street festival in Kingsland has been turned down, notwithstanding enthusiastic support from the locals.
"Kingsland is one area where there are likely to be thousands more seeking food, drink and entertainment than existing establishments are legally permitted to cater for. But requests for flexibility have fallen on deaf ears. Some silly bureaucrats are treating the World Cup more as a Civil Defence emergency than a celebration.
"To those officials I say, lighten up and help us get out the welcome mat. ACT will champion the cases of any business being stymied by bureaucrats from trying to make this the best Rugby World Cup ever," Dr Brash concluded.
ENDS

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