Consent process blamed for veg store closure

Marty Hay: 'Everybody says there's a great economic boom. There isn't in Dunedin, and we've got to tighten our belt.'
Marty Hay: 'Everybody says there's a great economic boom. There isn't in Dunedin, and we've got to tighten our belt.'
A costly consent hearing is being blamed for Veggie Boys' Mosgiel store withering economically and it will close at the end of the month.

Veggie Boys' co-owner Marty Hay said the Bush Rd store was not economically viable and management had decided to ‘‘pull the pin''.

''It hasn't quite worked as we'd hoped.''

The outlet had been open nearly two years but three months after opening, business became difficult when the owners were required to obtain a consent for it to operate, he said.

At a Dunedin City Council hearing in April last year, a submitter expressed concern about Veggie Boys setting a precedent thatwould allow grocery stores to operate in rural areas.

Mr Hay was disappointed with the opposition.

''You can see why a lot of people don't want to do business out at Mosgiel.''

The council considered any perceived precedent was limited and granted a resource consent.

However, he said the consent process confused customers and the financially healthy Mosgiel store started to wither.

''Many people thought we were closed. We never really recovered after getting the resource consent. We were going very well before that.''

The consent process was an ''economical disaster''.

''The resource consent cost me tens of thousands of dollars . . . If I knew how much it was going to cost I wouldn't have bothered.''

The owners were disappointed but the store closure was an economic necessity, he said.

''It was a head decision. It wasn't a heart decision. If I made it with my heart I would have persevered.''

The company's accountant told him to close the store and the four staff were told of the closure on Friday, he said.

A couple of full-time staff had accepted jobs in Dunedin Veggie Boys stores; the other full-time worker was moving to Central Otago, he said.

A young man working part-time had not decided if he would accept work in a Dunedin store, Mr Hay said.

The Dunedin stores in Cumberland St, Albany St and Macandrew Rd were going well, but reports of economic prosperity in the city were overblown, he said

‘‘Everybody says there's a great economic boom. There isn't in Dunedin, and we've got to tighten our belt.''

Fresh fruit and vege

This article could've expanded on the state of the market as a whole. Bulk buyers get a wholesale discount. It's cheaper for dairies in Dunedin to go to Pak'N'Save than it is to go directly to the wholesalers, because the supermarkets get bulk discounting. It's a monopolistic system that needs to be regulated properly. Now that one outlet has closed it will jeopardise Marty's business in all likelihood, because his costs will have just gone up now that his outlets have gone down. That's bad for the consumer. 

It's not only Dunedin

Under this Government ? Ha!

If you believe that the previous Labour government ran the economy better consider this -

During the last Labour government economic activity generally increased, but this was fuelled by increasing house prices, in which people could borrow more against it. Debt levels increased to levels never seen before.

If you understand debt and interest, your realise it takes longer to deleverage debt, than to accumulate it. (We grew our debt levels over 10 years - and could possibly be 20-30 years before being paid off)

And considering the economy is more than 80% internal consumption, and most people either are trying to live in their means, or pay off debt, or get some savings - this is why the economy is feeling a pinch.






Snoot: the background issue here is that we have a district plan that acknowledges that the Taieri Plains are some of the most fertile agricultural land in Otago and that says that we should use that land for growing things rather than housing or stores - in short the area is zoned for growing vegetables, not for selling them.

To get permission to erect commercial buildings in an area not zoned for them you have to get special permission from the council before you start. If you just go ahead and open up a store without going through the process the rest of us have to deal with you're likely to run foul of the council resulting in a big public fuss, which is exactly what happened here - rules are for everyone, you can't just ignore them without consequences.


Unsure if Mr Hay has followed all the rules or not as some here point out. But I think the point Mr Hay is making is a valid one. Bureaucracy and rules are becoming our lives now to the point of rediculousness. Those who make them are all powerful and make more to keep it so.

Things worked far better before we had to have so many rules with their red tape and inflated costs now seemingly required in this evolving neoliberal system.

Fact is we need small businesses like Mr Hay's, the service they provide, the jobs they bring. We don't need all the bureacracy, It cost a fortune and is well on its way to taking over and destroying our very way of life. If it hasn't already.






"a submitter expressed concern about Veggie Boys setting a precedent thatwould allow grocery stores to operate in rural areas." Oh, how terrible! Haven't stores always operated in rural areas?

Simple solution

Of course all this could have been avoided if Mr Hay had done what all the rest of are required to do and get the consent before opening for business, I'm not sure why the rules would be expected to be different for him.

Veggie Boys

These are the types of businesses we should be supporting and making sure they succeed in the community. Instead we pour our money into an empty stadium. Talk about consent!

Another Dunedin business closes

So many business closures in the recent past.

The problem with the statistics is that Dunedin is part of Otago, which has its statistics boosted by economic activity in Queenstown Lakes district.

Dunedin is suffering under the current govt!


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