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Takapuna retail on the up

Flagstaff Team

Full speed ahead…
Wetini Catterall, 4, enjoying the Hurstmere Rd pump track

The latest retail figures show a much-needed bounce-back of spending in Takapuna, although times remain tough for the hospitality sector.

Spending overall was down just 3.5 per cent in the week ending 6 September, when compared with the same week last year.

With school holidays fast approaching and good progress having been made on new seating and paving at each end of the Hurstmere Rd shopping strip, the shopping centre is hoping for even more support from local shoppers.

“Seeing locals, visitors, and employees supporting our local businesses has been such a welcome sight and believe me it is really appreciated,” said Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive Terence Harpur.

Although retail had picked up under alert level 2.5, hospitality operators were finding restrictions made for tough trading.

“Here’s hoping we can move to a ‘level 1.5’ as soon as it’s deemed safe enough,” said Harpur.

Marketview data reported in the Observer earlier showed that retail trade in Takapuna had slumped 85 per cent under alert level 3 .

“There has no doubt been some pent-up demand for retail as many shops were closed for nearly three weeks,” said Harpur, who hopes the support from returning shoppers will continue.

The latest figures show spending on home and recreational retailing was up 58.3 per cent compared with the same week in 2019; food, liquor and pharmacies were 18.9 per cent up; and clothing, footwear and department stores 14.6 per cent. But hospitality and accommodation were down 26.3 per cent.

“We always knew that hospitality would be down, as big groups are prohibited, patrons all need to be seated, and many tables and chairs have to be removed.

However, what’s also suppressing their revenue is the fact that many people are still working from home, and others are just not socialising as much under level 2.5,” Harpur said.

With contact tracing having ramped up and more people wearing masks and understanding health measures, he wants the government to consider lowering levels. It was also important for Aucklanders to support their local businesses “as much as they can”, he said.


Meals in Milford

Food trucks are returning to Milford Reserve as the evenings lengthen. Popular takeaway sellers will be parked up on Thursday, 24 September and on selected dates in the months ahead. The evenings are organised by the Food Truck Collective, which books a variety of vendors and brings in tables, benches, and rubbish and recycling bins.

Up, up and away

The pump track opposite Hurstmere Green is being moved to Northcote for a time, but the Takapuna Beach Business Association is keen to get it back again over summer. The temporary undulating bike ride for children has proved a popular attraction for several months.

Dragon in progress

The Sunnynook Community Centre has a dragon stone activity for kids these school holidays. Preschool staff painted a dragon head, and children have already painted the first stones. A tail of blank stones to add to the display and instructions are outside the centre.

Volunteers wanted

Volunteers are still needed to maintain planting at Brian Byrnes Reserve. A small group gathered for the first tree-planting event at the reserve earlier this month. North Community Trust environmental coordinator Fiona Martin is also seeking volunteers to look after reserves around Forrest Hill and Sunnynook, and in Hurstmere Rd and Byron Ave, which are on track to be predator-free streets. Training and pest traps can be provided. The aim is to get one in three local residents actively trapping. Martin said there had already been a lot of interest from residents around Hurstmere Rd and plenty of rats have been caught. To register your interest in becoming a volunteer, go to the North Shore Birdsong Project Facebook page.

This article originally appeared in the 18 September 2020 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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