25 October 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post 
Topic: CBD developments and empty shops

Enquiry

I am doing a story on the Rotorua CBD and in particular new developments and empty shops that are up for lease according to commercial real estate agents and businesses. I have some questions and my deadline is 3 pm tomorrow. Thank you.

A longterm business owner says he has had to shut its doors in the CBD and one of the reasons is activity on the street mainly to do with homeless people. He is not alone the Lucky Lotto Shop owner says trouble in the CBD has escalated and he had to call the police twice on Sunday. He says he has been threatened on a daily basis for the last two weeks and been told he would be shot and to go back to your own country.  Meanwhile, there had been incidences with his customers and tourists. Others are also fearful for their safety.

There are also a large number of shops empty and agents say it can be hard to attract businesses into the CBD due to ongoing issues including parking.

I have some questions:

What security measures does the Council have in the CBD at the moment and how are they working?

The council started an initiative in December with city patrols - how much does that cost and how many people are patrolling the CBD?

Since that started what data have you collected on whether it is working or not?

How many complaints has the Council received in the last two years in regards to incidences in the CBD and what were the most common ones?

​For the Mayor:​

Do business owners and shoppers have the right to feel safe when they are in the CBD and what can be done about it?

What is the Council's vision for the CBD and do you think what has been achieved so far is working?

How can the city centre become more vibrant?

One person said Rotorua has become the dumping ground for MSD motel clients who are bringing criminal and gang elements with them what is showing up in the Rotorua - do you agree or disagree and why?

Response

For your information, a recent update on inner city security is available HERE.

The following can be attributed to Rotorua Lakes Council’s, Inner City Manager, Richard Horn:

“Council continues to coordinate safety patrols of our inner city streets, provide CCTV monitoring, and meets with police once a week to share information and discuss concerns as part of our collaborative safety campaign.

“The aim is to provide a safe and friendly inner city environment for businesses, their staff and the public by deterring anti-social and criminal behaviour and dealing promptly with any emerging issues or incidents. 

“We have a team of ten patrollers who are rostered on between 8am and 3am depending on the day and time of week. There is a focus on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights when the city is busier. The current cost of this initiative is approximately $28,000 per month.

“We know there are still issues but many incidents are being deescalated before they become a problem and we continue to receive positive support and feedback from the public and inner city businesses. 

“Threatening and criminal behaviour is not acceptable and we strongly encourage the public to call the police in these instances.” 

​Information only

Most incidences relating to criminal and antisocial behaviour are reported to the police. This data sits with them and can potentially be supplied but not within your given timeframes.

The majority of what is reported to Council is related to suspicious behaviour. In these instances, we try and obtain photographic evidence to supply to the police. 

From Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick:

“We want a vibrant inner city where there is activity and where people want to live, work, shop and socialise and of course people’s safety is paramount. That’s why Council has increased surveillance and patrols and why we’re continuing to work closely with police.

​“Alongside these existing safety initiatives, having more people in the inner city also helps to deter anti-social and criminal behaviour and we will continue to look for ways to encourage inner city living and activity that attracts people.

“During the coming months Council will be setting its priorities for the next few years and the inner city and safety has already been highlighted as a challenge that needs addressing, so we will be looking at what’s next there and determining actions to be taken.”

Carmen, the mayor is unaware of ‘criminal and gang elements’ related to MSD clients in motels so you will need to ask police and/or MSD about that.​


 

Page reviewed: 02 Dec 2019 3:25pm