I was checking the latest BayBuzz survey stats on attitudes toward McDonald’s coming to Havelock North. Now, with over 200 responses, 37% of all responders (and 45% of Havelock responders) agree with this statement:
“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.”
But the balance of respondents — begrudgingly or not — believe that Big Macs for sale in Havelock North is inevitable, For them, it’s more a matter of location and how well the actual structure fits into the community’s ambiance.
That’s the view of planning specialist Grant McLachlan, who submits his advice in this guest piece. Here’s his conclusion, but I urge you to read his entire article:
“If the Village does not get behind the McVillage, they may end up getting precisely what they don’t want. The Kerikeri community tried to block any McDonald’s in their town. Instead of the building being a McStone Store they got a McLockwood that clashes with every building in town.
Instead of fighting tool and nail through the Courts such energy is best invested in the best design. A McVillage is a great way to define a community’s character by taking a universal brand and identifying a point of difference that sets the Village apart from everywhere else.
Wouldn’t it be great if people thought “Wow, what an amazing building! Oh, it’s a McDonald’s. I haven’t been to a McDonald’s for a while. Coffee?”
Who knows, if McDonald’s does it right, other buildings might adopt the same style leading to the restoration of the Village’s identity.
McDonald’s needs to release an artist’s impression before the deafening silence fuels paranoia.”
What do you think? Prudent advice from Grant? Or are you still prepared to man the barricades?
P.S. Speaking of iconic brands, yesterday I mistakenly said that the Nelson Park site was for sale. That’s not the case. What is for sale is the adjoining property, which developer Charter Hall had also purchased. Sorry to anyone whose blood pressure I unnecessarily spiked.