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Conversation grows on a vibrant city heart

10 February 2014

Conversation grows on a vibrant city heart

An opportunity for Rotorua District Council and many of the wider inner city’s restaurant and café businesses to work together for a vibrant future has been started.

On Friday Mayor Steve Chadwick and council chief executive Geoff Williams met with members of the newly formed Rotorua Cuisine Co-operative to hear and discuss the concerns of operators located outside the Eat Street precinct.

The group raised concerns around historical fairness, equity and ongoing support from the council for their respective businesses, and started a conversation on how they and the council could work better together in the future.

The group’s spokesman, Andy Allan of Lone Star Restaurant, conveyed a perception that businesses in Eat Street had assistance from the council that others in the city did not receive.

“This is not about Eat Street operators, it’s about being fair and equable to us all,” he said.

Mayor Chadwick described the opportunity to start working with the new group as a positive one as everybody shared the vision of a vibrant city heart and an outstanding place to play.

“I’m really pleased that restaurant and café operators have come together and formed a collective group to work in partnership with the council, along similar lines as the Inner City Retailers’ Group led by Mike Steiner.

“We need to listen to the frustrations of the past and then determine what we need to do to go forward,” she said.

“There are amazing ideas pouring out of the woodwork and we’re in the process of trying to make sense of them all.”

CE Geoff Williams said it was the council’s job to provide a fair and transparent approach that responded to changing priorities and needs.

“We’re working towards making the council organisation more flexible,” he said.

“As an organisation we need to move from regulator to navigator, and determine how we work in partnership to help build the city and district we all want to grow and live in.”

Mr Williams added that the operators knew their businesses better than the council, and how the best outcomes could be achieved.

He said the council’s Inner City Enterprises team would now become involved in establishing the partnership approach and gathering together the group’s ideas.


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