Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Saturday best for market says poll

Forlongs owner Terry Forlong. Photo / APN
Forlongs owner Terry Forlong. Photo / APN

Frankton's largest retailer, Forlongs, is challenging the Hamilton City Council over the closure of a road for the suburb's 23-year-old weekend market.

The challenge could almost halve the number of weekends the market operates, or force it to change to operating on Sundays.

Forlongs owner Terry Forlong has sought legal advice on the closure of Commerce St for 4 hours over 51 Saturdays for the market.

By law, the road can be closed for only 31 days a year, but the council found a loophole allowing it to be shut for the market on all but one Saturday a year because the closure was for only half a day.

After a meeting with the council yesterday, Mr Forlong said he hoped a middle ground could be found.

Most Frankton businesses are opposed to his attempt to stop the market being held every Saturday because of the 2000 shoppers it brings in.

Florist Ilene owner and chairwoman of the Frankton Business Association, Edwyna Carlson, said it was one owner against all the other retailers in the village who felt the market was great for business.

"It promotes us, it's been here for 20-something years," she said.

"People know about the Frankton market. It's something we are really renowned for.

"I find it really hard that one person thinks just because he doesn't like it, it doesn't have to be in there."

Mr Forlong's main problems with the market were its effect on accessibility to his shop, customer parking being used by marketgoers and an increase in shoplifting on market days.

The Frankton Markets surveyed 43 businesses last month and 41 wanted the market to stay.

- NZ Herald

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