Here’s a progress report on our survey about the Big Mac coming to Havelock North.
Yes, 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. No formal application for any necessary permit or consent has not yet been submitted.
But 135 people have shared their opinions with BayBuzz so far. Here’s what they say.
35% — 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.
9% — I can tolerate the existence of McDonald’s somewhere in Havelock North, but not at this prominent gateway location to our village.
16% — Whether I (or anyone else) 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.
27% — I accept that McDonald’s has a right 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 other shops in the village, and spares us from a garish entry to the village.
9% — 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.
4% — I love McDonald’s and would welcome one in Havelock North, but perhaps there’s a better location.
So, while 35% of respondents sound like they will lie down in front of the bulldozers, barely a third of that number, 13% would positively welcome McD’s to Havelock North. A 52% majority seems resigned to the right of McD’s, under the current district plan and its zoning, to locate in the Village, but most of these would prefer either a different location or an effort by McD’s to come up with a design that integrates with the community.
Here’s where it gets messy! Of those who say they live in Havelock North (56% of the respondents to date), a larger 45% are prepared to man the barricades.
And if you really want an earful, here’s what people said in their open-ended comments!
It will be interesting to see how Havelock North Councillors Bradshaw and Kimber play this one! They can expect a lot more intensity from the nearly half of their constituents who oppose the outlet than from from those who (unhappily?) accept it.
To help our Councillors along, BayBuzz will do two things:
1) We’ll keep the survey open online so more people can give their opinion. You can take the survey here.
2) We’re partnering with a class of Year 12 Geography students from Iona College to do some further surveying. Watch for them in Havelock Village next week!
And if you’re undecided on the issue, take a look at these pictures of McDonald’s stores that are trying to blend in with their communities. Presumably, McD’s is savvy enough to try to integrate with whatever they perceive as the “Village ambiance” of Havelock North (some would say defining that ambiance is a challenge in itself!).
Would this make you more welcoming or not?
Get your opinion in. Take our BayBuzz survey.