On the Rise – Mark Knoff-Thomas

by Mark Knoff-Thomas

Some rapid fire updates to keep you up to speed. You will likely have seen news reports from around the country about the marked increase in crime and anti-social behaviour – in particular Wellington, Christchurch, Napier and the Bay of Islands. And if you have followed my epistles you will know that Newmarket, and Auckland in general is also experiencing its fair share of issues. It is an area we are constantly working on, and it’s fair to say at times we are scrabbling for band-aid fixes. The issues are systemic, and need much bigger, sustained and better-resourced solutions that focus on root causes, and all roads lead to the Beehive. However we have been working hard and doing our bit for the precinct, and there are some positive changes afoot.

From March this year we signed a new security agreement with Platform 4 Group, who have taken over our street patrols 7 days a week. This is now aligned with Parnell and we are working on increased inter-precinct connectivity and intel- sharing.

Newmarket Police will be relocating from Remuera Road into the heart of Newmarket at a new station in Teed Street – opening in late-May. This will see greater police presence in the town centre.

We are undertaking a comprehensive review of our CCTV network, and will be expanding coverage significantly, including replacing single cameras with “quad cams” – they can see in 4 directions simultaneously. Our CCTV cameras are fed live into the Newmarket police station as well as the District Command Centre.

We have rallied together with other Auckland business associations to lobby for more resources.

In other news… resource consent is well underway for a new development at 80 Broadway – currently tenanted by The Warehouse, Torpedo 7 etc. The development includes 2,700 square metres of retail, 1,700 sqm of commercial space and over 260 apartments across 11 buildings. This will be the largest development we have seen since Scentre Group’s Westfield Newmarket centre.

Finally, I have been making some noise about Easter Sunday trading recently, and the fact Auckland Council hasn’t budged on their decision not to allow it. To be fair to the council – I still think the National government at the time did a huge disservice to NZ by abdicating responsibility and leaving it up to individual councils to decide who can and can’t trade on this day. But the position of Auckland Council is out of date, and they obviously haven’t got to grips with modern NZ’s work schedules. I’m not advocating for mandatory openings of businesses – but at least let them have the choice to trade if they so wish. You may be aware of the situation whereby Parnell can trade on Easter Sunday, but Newmarket cannot. Under the Act, employees have the right to refuse to work. If you don’t support Easter Sunday trading – don’t shop on Easter Sunday.

See you here soon,

Mark Knoff-Thomas
CEO, Newmarket Business Association

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