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Newmarket says booting billboards will cost

Media Release

Newmarket Business Association

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Newmarket says booting billboards will cost business

The board of the Newmarket Business Association today called for the Auckland City Council not to pass a bylaw tonight banning billboards, believing it would be another blow to business.

“The latest retail statistics out aren't terribly flash yet on the same day the Auckland City Council is keen to kill off a valuable marketing tool and income stream for businesses,” said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

"The association’s board met today and to a man and woman they are staggered that the council could ram this into law without any consultation or consideration for the economic consequences

“On top of job losses, hundreds of commercial buildings around town will lose significant real estate value with the loss of these additional income streams.

"Businesses contribute a massive chunk to the city's rates take. They are sick of being told by the council that commercial areas can't operate on a sensible commercial footing. Mr Hubbard needs to educate his ruling councillors and officers on some commercial realities.

"Everyone agrees that illegal billboards must go and so should those obstructing iconic Auckland view shafts and important heritage sites. However in heavily commercial strips like Broadway compliant commercial signage can actually add to the look and feel of the place. In many cases billboards can conceal what are very average above shop facades.

"It's ironic that while the stylish imagery on some of Broadway's billboard's may have to come down, an ugly 10-storey apartment building will soon tower over Broadway with council's blessing."

Newmarket is also deeply concerned about the future of its cross-street banners - an important marketing tool for local businesses and revenue stream for the business association.

"Newmarket has had its cross-street banners for 10 years. They are hugely popular and successful. Our businesses are now naturally worried that our extended trial period will not be renewed after 31 March 2007. Rest assured, if that's part of council's grand plan we will be fighting them every step of the way,” said Mr Brewer

ENDS

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