Those behind Napier's long-running Sunday market worry its future is under threat, and are appealing for it to remain on Marine Parade.

Yesterday market organisers, supported by a group of stallholders and market-goers, made a passionate plea to the Napier City Council to "protect and preserve" the market in its current location.

Before April 2016, its long-term home was the shore front carpark near Bay Skate. The area's redevelopment meant the market was moved further along the parade, to the carpark near Ocean Spa.

Owner Margaret Habib said despite some "teething problems" the market continued to be successful, and well attended at the new site - which was loved for its central location, and proximity to the beach.


However they had been told to downsize the market or move somewhere else, and that they had to operate around events - such as last weekend's Mitre 10 Mega Walk.

Now, she said their license had been put on probation in light of complaints about safety and congestion.

"I am now not sure what is going on, and even if the market can continue to operate on Marine Parade," she said.

Having to operate on a month-by-month basis lead to a "great deal of uncertainty about the future of the market", stallholder Jan Deffern told the council.

Speaking on behalf of her fellow stallholders, she said there had only been three minor complaints about the market, which had all been rectified as best they could.

To address other safety, and congestion concerns, the market had hired Maori wardens during busy months, she said. They had also requested more parking be made available elsewhere.

However Mrs Habib said "we believe the council don't want a market on the parade and are doing their best to move us."

Alternative market sites suggested by the council were not fit for purpose, including the Vaultier St carpark, Ahuriri Park, and Whitmore park.

"We, both the stall holders and the huge numbers of people who enjoy the market are happy where we are, and would like to stay there," she said.

Napier resident Garth Cooper, a market goer for several years, said the market was an asset for the city, and appealed to the council to let it continue.

No decision was required from council yesterday. After the meeting Mrs Habib said they would wait for a response from council.