Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Street eats off menu for TPP

Staff at eateries and bars plan to bring in furniture in anticipation of protests. Photo / Dean Purcell
Staff at eateries and bars plan to bring in furniture in anticipation of protests. Photo / Dean Purcell

Al-fresco dining at some venues around SkyCity is off the menu this week in anticipation of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) protests.

Several restaurants and bars on Federal St have been told to take in their outdoor furniture from Tuesday through to Thursday as a precautionary measure.

On Thursday - when the TPP will be signed at SkyCity - some restaurants will lock their front doors, but allow access via other entrances.

A staff member at one of the restaurants told the Herald staff had received an email outlining the recommended course of action to be taken on the day of the signing. It was not clear who had sent the email.

She said the restaurant had been advised to bring in outdoor seating and lock the doors at the time of the expected protests.

"[The email] just told us where staff should be entering from and to advise all customers on the day that the front doors would be locked and that there would be no outside seating."

She said customers with bookings at the restaurant on Thursday would be brought in by a special entrance.

"I think there is going to be a lot of security out on the main street in Federal St just advising people what to do and if they do have a restaurant booking they will be taken aside and shown the way."

She believed all restaurants owned by SkyCity on Federal St had been given "relatively the same information".

A staff member at Depot said they would be pulling down their clear outdoor blinds for the recommended three days, which would enable them to continue outdoor service.

At Federal Delicatessen, a staff member said they would bring in their outdoor furniture for morning and lunch services but would put it back out in the evening. He was unsure whether they would lock their doors on the day of the protest.

We plan for every eventuality ... and the measures we take will be appropriate and thorough.
Superintendent Chris Scahill

A SkyCity spokeswoman told the Herald there would be no outdoor seating at the restaurants and customers who called to make bookings would be warned of possible disruptions. She would not confirm which restaurants would do this.

Federal St restaurants with outdoor seating include The Grill, MASU, Federal Delicatessen, Depot Bellota. The spokeswoman said it would otherwise be "business as usual" for restaurants owned by the casino operator.

SkyCity communications general manager Colin Espiner said the group was working closely with police around security measures on the day.

"Obviously we will take all the necessary precautions to safeguard our property and people but exactly what our plans are, we wouldn't talk about," he said. "The police are mostly responsible for the safety of the public, that is their job and we will leave it to them to decide the appropriate courses of action."

He would not discuss whether SkyCity would undertake a security review on Thursday morning.

In a blog post, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there would be a heavy police presence at the event "to keep everyone safe".

In a statement, Superintendent Chris Scahill, national manager of response and operations, said: "We will draw upon our extensive experience of policing a wide range of high profile events in recent years as part of our arrangements.

"Police will not discuss any operational details for the event, including staff numbers involved, as is standard for any matters involving security. We can, however, say that we plan for every eventuality which can be anticipated, and the measures we take will be appropriate and thorough."

- NZ Herald

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