Container cafe gets permit to operate on petanque court

By Anneke Smith -
8 comments
Magnet Cafe on Marine Parade has drawn attention for it's location atop the local petanque court. Photo / Warren Buckland
Magnet Cafe on Marine Parade has drawn attention for it's location atop the local petanque court. Photo / Warren Buckland

An unconventional cafe on Napier's Marine Parade has drawn criticism after petanque players found the Napier City Council consented to its location being atop their local petanque court.

Napier resident Susan Wylie is calling on the council to clear the terrain, currently occupied by Magnet Cafe, "as soon as possible" so the region's locals and visitors can use the petanque court over the summer.

Ms Wylie called the council's decision to permit a commercial enterprise on the public terrain "bizarre".

"While yet another cafe and ice-cream outlet might be needed, it was certainly not needed on top of a popular recreational asset, especially given the vast amount of space at the north end of Marine Parade that could have been used," she said.

However, Napier City Council director city strategy Richard Munneke said that after exploring different options over several months the council granted the Magnet Cafe a consent to operate at the petanque court site on Marine Parade on a trial basis this summer and autumn.

"It is our belief that the court is not used very frequently, and after discussing the proposal with other commercial operators using the reserve, we decided it was the best location for the trial," he said.

While not against the idea of delicious coffee and ice cream at such a convenient location on the parade Ms Wylie said the council's decision to put the cafe on top of the public petanque court contradicts their ongoing efforts to promote healthier communities.

"A cafe near the terrain would have been a win-win, as we could play and buy coffee. The council has been promoting healthy communities by creating skate ramps, cycle trails and tracks, so removing a space that provides for a great game for young and old is rather shortsighted," she said.

The feedback the council had received so far had been very positive, however Mr Munneke said the trial would be reviewed later this year and if deemed successful the space would be offered as a pop up summertime cafe in the future.

He also said a petanque court could be provided at the site if there was sufficient support.

Any feedback about the pop up cafe site should be directed to Napier City Council Strategic Planning Lead Fleur Lincoln.

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