Move to crack down on mobile traders

By Michele McPherson


Mobile shops along Mount Maunganui's blue ribbon beachfront are likely to be restricted to a short stretch of Marine Parade fronting Mt Drury.
Council yesterday decided it did not want a repeat of last summer when up to 14 vendors nabbed precious carparks along Main Beach and Pilot Bay.
Instead, the public is to be consulted on a complete ban on mobile shops from these two areas, except for four vendors on the seaward side of Marine Parade, between Grace Ave and Pacific Ave.
Licences would be issued on the basis of the highest tender, starting at $1200, and ensuring the right range of traders so that not everyone sold ice creams.
Mobile shops would be outlawed completely from Pilot Bay, answering complaints from Tourism BoP that traders created a poor first impression for cruise ship passengers at the port.
Cr Mike Baker counted as many as 14 mobile shops last summer, with one even selling sushi out of a car boot. Traders started arriving at 6.30am to claim their spots.
The council's plan goes back to the status quo that was upset when traders cashed in on a loophole which said traders could operate from carparks on the seaward side of The Mall and Marine Parade.
Cr Wayne Moultrie said he has received a number of complaints about the fly-by-nighters who, in some cases, even parked up over night to keep their spot.
Cr Rick Curach wanted more than four traders and questioned the validity of Cr Baker's claim that mobile shops were a major safety issue. He said traffic moved slowly along this end of Marine Parade during the summer peak.
Mayor Stuart Crosby said parking was at a premium and four mobile shops were enough.
Cr David Stewart supported restricting numbers to four.
Cr Greg Brownless said mobile shops added vitality.
Cr Moultrie said some council lors did not have an appreciation of what it was like to live at the Mount over Christmas-New Year.
He highlighted the number of elec trical cords laid by mobile traders over the boardwalk and the num ber of stalls double-parked.
"Look at this and tell me there is no congestion and danger," he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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