Avondale community leaders are divided over the arrival of the burger chain, Carl's Jr.
Duncan Macdonald, chairman of the Avondale Business Association and deputy chairman of the Whau local board, yesterday backed the imminent arrival of Carl's Jr. He took issue with board chairman Derek Battersby, who said the American chain had targeted low socio-economic areas by opening in Takanini and Glen Innes, called for a fat tax to discourage consumption of fast food and a state education campaign on food choices.
Mr Macdonald disagreed and feared criticism might force the chain to ditch its plans for an abandoned site at the prominent intersection where Wingate St, St Jude St and Great North Rd meet.
"If they're employing 30 kids, great. We welcome Carl's Jr to Avondale, which does not have any overseas franchised food outlets, whereas New Lynn has ... 10 or more," he said.
"That does not make New Lynn a more deprived area than Avondale. May I suggest that Derek Battersby refrain from being a food policeman. If the good people in Avondale don't like Carl's food, they won't buy it."
Others in the community were excited by the prospect of the chain's arrival and thought it would enhance their area, Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Battersby said he stood by his comments and had received feedback which backed his views.
Carl's Jr says it offers healthy options in New Zealand and is not selling a notorious foot-long cheeseburger here which has twice as many calories as KFC's Double Down.