Mixed views to store's move

By Lawrence Gullery

The president of the Havelock North Business Association is worried what effect moving the village's primary supermarket might have on the rest of the suburb's shopping centre.

Adrienne Pierce said she was still gathering feedback from members to understand whether people supported Foodstuffs decision to close its New World supermarket in Havelock North, and build a new store nearby.

The New World on Porter Drive would be converted into shops and a new supermarket would be built on land Foodstuffs owned on Havelock Rd.

"At the moment I can say that feedback is mixed," Mrs Pierce said.

"Once we get comments from all of our members, we'll consider speaking to the appropriate people at the Hastings District Council."

The association supported the council's decision in 2009, to set up specific precincts to control where activities such as employment, industrial and retail could occur in the village centre.

Supermarket competitor Progressive Enterprises wanted to build a Countdown store in an area known as the "employment precinct" but the Environment Court declined the plan, because it was an area set up for businesses, not for large format food sellers.

Mrs Pierce said she was alarmed to find out the Foodstuffs plan for a new supermarket was also in the employment zone.

"We submitted to the council in favour of the new employment zone, on the understanding there would be no large footprint developments selling food allowed to go in there.

"So we will be seeking clarification from the council on this," Mrs Pierce said.

The Environment Court decision regarding Progressive's plan said if there was a case for a second supermarket proven, one could be submitted for consideration in the employment zone.

Mrs Pierce agreed that the critical wording in the court's decision was "second supermarket" because the Foodstuffs plan was not for a second shop, but moving the village's primary supermarket to another site.

Havelock North resident Roger Corbett said he felt Foodstuffs was moving to block a competitor supermarket from setting up in the suburb.

"There is a clear need for a competing supermarket in Havelock North, both to serve the rapidly growing population in the Brookvale/Arataki area and to keep the existing New World honest," Mr Corbett said.

"Perhaps the best place now for a new Countdown would be out in the Arataki area."


- Hawkes Bay Today

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