Doubtless Bay has had a number of markets, some more successful than others. But the one with a real point of difference, the Tuesday evening market, next to the Mangonui Hotel, is in trouble.
The problem is not a lack of stallholders or customers — there is plenty of both — but the hotel's need for parking space, which is at a premium over summer. As of now, the market will run until the end of this month and if it can't find a new home it will then fold.
Linley Main, who initiated the market in 2013 and continues to organise it, said a number of suggestions had been made, but none were suitable. The Mangonui Hall, which hosts a Saturday morning market, wasn't big enough and had parking problems of its own, and both Māori Point and the area around the war memorial on the Neva Clarke McKenna Boardwalk were Far North District Council-owned. She doubted the council would be amenable, and both the boardwalk and Māori Point were also relatively exposed to the elements, unlike the current location, which included a carport, meaning some stallholders did not need to erect their own shelter.
The market was also continuing to grow. She had been approached by a prospective stallholder on Tuesday evening, and by another, who was hoping to sell lemons and macadamia nuts, yesterday.
"Some of the stalls are seasonal, but others turn up every single time, without fail," Linley said. "Some of them have invested in stock for the season, so closing a month earlier than we had planned won't be good for them, but there's more to it than that.
"It's such a community thing. Little old ladies make a few things and sell them. Some don't care if they don't sell anything. They just like being there."
Fairburn man Peter Niepel, who has set up a stall there at times, agreed.
"It started at the Little Kitchen, then moved to the Blue Room down the road, and ended up at the current location beside the hotel," he said.
"Finding space has always been a bit of a challenge, but it provides a platform for many small businesses and artists. It is quite busy, especially at this time of the year.
"Now the agreement with the hotel has been cancelled, and this time it doesn't look like it will find a new location. If this is the end of the market it will be a loss to the community and the whole area. A lot of the businesses went there not for the profit but to provide their wares to the community. It is a sad situation for many people."
Anyone who might have any ideas about a new location can contact Linley at email@example.com