Mobile food traders could soon be dotted around Dunedin's
central city, and potentially along the main shopping streets,
under a proposed relaxation of the bylaw governing where they
A councillor subcommittee reviewing the Dunedin City
Council's mobile trading bylaw is to recommend the council
adopt a revised bylaw that removes a rule restricting mobile
shops or stalls from operating within 300m of another
premises selling similar products.
Traders were united in concern about the 300m rule's
continued inclusion in a revised version of the bylaw that
the council consulted on last year.
In multiple submissions, they explained how the rule affected
their financial viability by basically forcing them out of
the central city area, with some having to operate outside
the law to make a living.
They were also concerned about the negative connotations of
the bylaw, which they felt was too focused on requirements
under the Local Government Act to protect the public from
The amended bylaw, arrived at after the subcommittee spent
several hours working through amendments yesterday, places
the emphasis instead on mobile trading adding character,
vibrancy and other benefits to the city, while still ensuring
appropriate health and safety standards and legislative
requirements are met.
If adopted, it would also allow traders to operate from the
same site for up to 12 hours, increased from a previous limit
of two hours.
It still restricts mobile traders from operating in parks and
reserves, including car parks and roads in reserves, and in
George St, Princes St, the Octagon, lower Stuart St and Moray
Pl, although the subcommittee asked council staff to seek
legal advice on whether the latter restrictions could be
Traders yesterday greeted the news with delight.
Hannah Scott, the representative of a small group of traders
that united to fight for bylaw changes, said traders only
learnt of the proposed changes at yesterday's hearing, but
those who had heard were very happy about the dropping of the
300m rule, and would be ''insanely happy'' if the
restrictions were also dropped on the other streets.
The relaxation of the bylaw would mean areas such as the
southern end of the CBD, where there were fewer food outlets,
could be serviced by mobile traders. It also meant traders
could operate without being worried about breaking the 300m
Some people would now be able to set up a mobile shop outside
their business, she said.
The subcommittee, of chairman Cr Andrew Noone, Crs Jinty
MacTavish and Hilary Calvert, resolved to seek approval for
the amended bylaw at the council's February 24 meeting.
Cr Noone said the councillors, particularly Cr MacTavish, had
worked hard to make the changes following clear feedback from
the mobile trader community.
The discussion had also raised the issue of a significant
overlap in the rules governing different activities in public
places, for example mobile trading, skating and the
commercial use of footpaths, he said.
This resulted in a separate recommendation the council draft
the bylaw as part of a broader bylaw encompassing all
commercial and community use of the city's public spaces.
The amended mobile trading bylaw could be adopted in the
interim while that work was done.