potential mobile trading sites in the Octagon, including
requirements to have traffic safety plans, have been labelled
a ''farce'' by some traders.
But the Dunedin City Council says while it is not telling
people how to run their business, it is not responsible for
finding places for people to operate and it has to ensure
safe access to sites without it incurring a cost to the
council or creating a nuisance for other road users.
A revised mobile-trading bylaw adopted in April that included
the dedication of two sites in the Octagon for mobile traders
was hailed by traders and councillors as a step forward in
improving the city's vibrancy.
But traders say then-unknown restrictions on the use of the
Octagon sites render them basically useless to many traders.
The new bylaw removed most restrictions on the areas mobile
traders could operate in around the city and established six
new sites for mobile traders to lease in the remaining
The Exchange, the Octagon and the Otago Museum reserve each
have two sites.
Hannah Scott, the secretary of a group of 15 traders -
comprising about half of all licensed traders in the city -
which is establishing an incorporated society called the
Dunedin Mobile Traders Association, said when the bylaw was
adopted the restrictions on the Octagon sites were not clear.
Traders had since found out they could trade there only from
10pm-3am; no vehicles could be driven on to the site because
of the potential damage to pavers; and users needed a traffic
safety plan for how they would get their vans or trailers in
Miss Scott said there had been general excitement about the
idea of mobile traders returning to the Octagon, but the
restrictions had dampened that.
''They've told us to apply, so we still are, knowing we are
going to get turned away, knowing the site is useless to
Michael Rosenberg, from Mamma Mia Pizza, who operates a
mobile pizza business, said he was worried about the traffic
safety plan, but had applied and was still optimistic his
small operation could comply.
However, Bacon Buttie Man owner Mike Cornelissen said the
Octagon site was useless to him because his truck was too
Council environmental health team leader Ros MacGill
yesterday said three individuals and the mobile-trader group
had applied for the Octagon sites and staff were still
working on Reserves Act issues regarding the museum reserve
After consideration, her team was now flexible about the time
restrictions on Octagon sites and open to considering earlier
hours of trade, she said.
Transportation policy engineer Jon Visser said there seemed
to be a misconception about how onerous the traffic safety
It was unlikely a mobile trader would be required to present
a full traffic management plan with cones, barriers or pilot
vehicles, but if people were pulling over on the carriageway
and uncoupling trailers or caravans, for example, they would
have to wear reflective clothing or use appropriate flashing
People just had to show they had a sensible plan for safely
pulling over, stopping and getting their trailers or other
equipment on to sites.
Each trader would require a specific plan, and applications
would be assessed case-by-case.
Council staff were happy to advise people on what might be
considered appropriate in their case.
Canopies, canopy poles and pavers were obstacles for
pedestrians, but if a plan showed how such things would be
managed so as to cause no damage, it would be considered.
Miss Scott said the traders in her group were still feeling
their way around the other new rules.
Two had been trialling working at night in Frederick St and
at other times in the Farmers car park, but it was still
trial and error, as well as being the down season.