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Markets To Look At Their Requirements Under Alert Level 2

The Kāpiti Coast District Council is contacting organisers of the district’s community markets to discuss whether they can reopen safely under alert level 2 in line with government guidance on public gatherings.

Mayor K Gurunathan says the Council is working on the basis that community markets operating on public reserves or in Council-owned community venues can operate under alert level 2 providing they meet the requirements for indoor and outdoor public gatherings and comply with the necessary regulations.

“The guidance requires market organisers to maintain adequate physical distancing between stallholders and meet public health and safety requirements.

“This is not any easy thing to achieve given the nature of the way markets operate. They are often community centres without walls, proving opportunities for people to come together and buy local. Many of the spaces our district’s markets occupy are not conducive to physical distancing.

“While we acknowledge stallholders want to get up and running again as soon as possible, and our community wants to re-establish social connections and get out and support our smaller Kāpiti traders and growers, there’s a lot of detail that needs to be worked through,” the Mayor says.

Acting Group Manager Place and Space, Alison Law, says where community markets occur on public reserve, roads or in our community venues, the Council needs to be satisfied that the required public health and safety measures will be met.

“We’re currently working through a process to make contact with market organisers to talk through their responsibilities under alert level 2 and we’re hopeful that most of the district’s community markets will be able to get back up and running in the next week or two.”

Ms Law says the Waikanae Saturday Market would not be in a position to re-open under alert level 2 on the public reserve at Waikanae Park if a market organiser is not confirmed and the necessary regulations remain unmet.

“As the landowner we have a responsibility to make sure it operates safely, and in-line with the necessary regulations.

“We are currently in discussions with a potential market organiser and we are confident that we can work together to put the necessary measures in place to ensure the market can get back up and running at Waikanae Park as quickly as possible for the benefit of our community and visitors to our district,” Ms Law says.

Under the Reserves Act activities such as a market on a public reserve must obtain a licence to occupy from the Council. The market requires a permit under the Council’s Trading in Public Places Policy and stallholders are also required to meet the requirements of the Food Act (where applicable) and the Council’s Trading in Public Places Policy.

Ms Law says the Waikanae Saturday Market has been operating for some time on the Park without the required licences and health and safety measures.

“As with any other market operating on public land across the district, there is an obligation for stallholders to meet their requirements and ensure public health and safety.

“This includes making sure there is an approved traffic management plan in place to avoid any conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and ensure traffic can move freely through the area.

“We fully accept that the Waikanae Saturday Market is a much-loved community asset which is why we are doing all we can to help the market and stallholders to meet their responsibilities and provide certainty over the markets continued operation at Waikanae Park.

Districtwide Councillor and business and jobs portfolio holder Angela Buswell says the Council wants to ensure the district’s community markets are a place of best practice, a source of entrepreneurship and, operate safely, fairly and equitably across the district.

“Our district’s markets have been very well supported by the Kāpiti Coast community in recent years, providing opportunities for Kāpiti’s smaller traders and growers to sell their products, but with that comes a responsibility.

“The Council is committed to working with market organisers and providing advice and support directly to stallholders to ensure they are clear about their responsibilities and operate safely within the rules,” Ms Buswell said.

© Scoop Media

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