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Eatery owners to meet Rotorua mayor

Eatery owners to meet mayor over Rotorua council's 'unequal' Eat Street role

Rotorua restaurant and café owners are meeting Mayor Steve Chadwick to voice concerns over the Rotorua District Council’s role in the Eat Streat development.

The meeting was due to be held on Friday at the council chambers at 2 pm with as many as 50 people involved in running non-Eat Streat eateries in the city attending along with Mrs Chadwick and the RDC CEO Geoff Williams and other council officers.

A Rotorua Cuisine Co-operative has been run informally but has now firmed up its structure to tackle what it sees are serious inequalities around not only the building of Eat Streat but also the council’s spending on marketing and advertising.

The trial closure of Eat Streat for the makeover led to those operators not located in the area of the development area to form the co-operative.

The group now wants to discuss with the mayor the following:

• The council’s representation of the city’s restaurants and cafes.

• The issue of whether building regulations and liquor regulations are applied fairly across the city’s restaurant and café owners.

• Whether signage and marketing and advertising helping promote the restaurant and café owners is equitable.

• Equality in non-smoking regulations

• The transparency of costs.

A source told www.themud.co.nz their concerns now went beyond even the $2 million spent by the council on the project, as suggested by the list. Initially, the co-operative wanted to meet with Steve Chadwick and Geoff Williams, but the mayor wanted to gain more input from a wider representation.

Those involved were not aiming for an investigation into funding, although more transparency regarding costs is being sought, as it is understand Steve Chadwick and Geoff Williams inherited the Eat Streat project from the previous administration.

“However, the large amounts of money that are now being spent on marketing and advertising solely for Eat Streat by the council are placing every other restaurant and café at a disadvantage.”

Eat Streat was here to stay but the council’s contribution had placed other business – and ratepayers – at a vast disadvantage.

ENDS

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