If the rumours are true (they’ve even popped up in my daughter’s high school economics class), the infamous Golden Arches of McDonald’s are soon to “grace” one of the main entry points to Havelock North.

Two properties have been sold to McDonald’s, just off the roundabout after Havelock Road crosses the Karamu Stream, intersects with Karanema Drive and continues into Havelock Village.

Hastings Council officers have heard the rumours, but have no official knowledge of the transactions. The area in question is zoned Industrial, and within this zone only commercial activities that do not occupy more than 100 square meters are permitted as a matter of right. That would seem to be too small a footprint for the typical McDonald’s operation. If so, the fast food operator would need a resource consent to proceed with a store. In any event, a building permit would be required.

It is not immediately clear what form of public consultation, if any, would be required. Consequently, BayBuzz is beginning some “consultation” of our own, as you’ll see later in this article.

Passions will run hot as spilt coffee in your lap on this one! Here are some positions one can imagine Havelockians might take:

1. I’m philosophically opposed to McDonald’s very existence, as a ruiner of people’s health and the worst kind of American cultural and culinary export. I do not want a McDonald’s anywhere in Havelock North.

2. I can tolerate the existence of McDonald’s somewhere in Havelock North, but not at this prominent gateway location to our village.

3. Whether I (or you) like it or not, McDonald’s has just as much right to sell Big Macs in Havelock North as does Jackson’s Bakery to sell sausage rolls. They can locate anywhere the zoning allows, including on these properties.

4. I accept the position that McDonald’s must be permitted to do business in Havelock North, but I’d like to see the Council negotiate some kind of building permit that keeps the style and “look” of the store somehow in tune with the ambiance of the village, and spares us from a garish entry to the village.

5. I love McDonald’s … they offer inexpensive, convenient (especially for parents with clamouring kids in the back seat) and tasty food. I’d welcome a store in Havelock North, and this location is acceptable.

6. I love McDonald’s and would welcome one in Havelock North, but perhaps there’s a better location.

Does one of these statements sound like your view? Take our quick online survey right here to register your opinion.

BayBuzz will send the results to Mayor Yule and Hastings Councillors, including, of course, Havelock North Councillors Bradshaw and Kimber.

And, in any event, we’ll keep you posted as the food fight unfolds.

Tom Belford

P.S. Stop eating those chips … take the survey!

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3 Comments

  1. 15 years ago McDonald's tried to open an outlet in our suburb, Balmain in Sydney. There was very strong opposition from the residents and I'm pleased to say Balmain is still McDonalds free. So it is possible to halt it if that's what the majoority desire.

  2. I can't see any legitimate opposition to a McDonalds in Havelock. i think the main opponants would be rejecting in principle from their underlying anit-americanism/globalism sentiment. I do however agree that it should be well designed to fit in with the "village atmosphere". Archtecturally speaking, this may be difficult as Havelock North doesn't actually have a defined style. Below are some exaples of McDonalds built in a sympathetic style to surrounding architecture:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/3126217773_76

    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_2zTNchnMR4Y/ShhlnGfc1RI/AAA

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/82/245663834_1934c

    http://i2.tinypic.com/v8loue.jpg

    http://static.flickr.com/5/9766797_6e663b292a.jpg

    The modern ones are quite good too:

    http://utahsown.utah.gov/images/mcdonalds.jpg

    Maybe Hawkes Bay could be iconic in McDonald's Architecture. Convert the Napier city one into an Art Deco style like Taradale, and Hastings one into a Spanish Mission style.

  3. Whats happened to democracy & freedom??? or does it only apply to certain things, and places??

    Wills.

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