Beggar bylaw being fast-tracked

Café Essence (pictured) and Greerton Lotto each had their windows damaged on Thursday evening.

A bylaw banning begging on Tauranga streets is being fast tracked, after two shops in Greerton Village reportedly had their windows smashed on Thursday night by homeless people fighting.

The decision was made Friday afternoon at a meeting involving more than 10 retailers and members of council.

The meeting yesterday was initiated by TCC, says Greerton Mainstreet manager Sally Benning. Greerton Mainstreet were simply requested to rally some of the retailers who had been affected to listen to what they had to say.

“We need something done much more urgently than the bylaw. The issue of beggars on our streets is affecting many Greerton business owners and customers coming into Greerton shops.

“The two shops who have been affected in particular are very annoyed, but it isn’t anything new. The problem has been going on for a very long time.”

A notice of motion was filed at the end of last year by councillor Terry Molloy and seconded by Bill Grainger proposing to ban begging and sleeping rough in the city.

While they wish to ban sleeping rough only in the central business district, begging is to be banned ‘city wide’, according to the Notice of Motion.

In addition the motion states council will urgently work with the community and central government partners to put in place support for those in genuine need.

Belinda Sands, owner of Greerton Lotto and one of the affected businesses, says she is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, as long as it happens.

“In the short term a decision has been made to increase security at Greerton Village and at the same time, council has indicated they’re also going to try to speed up the bylaw.

“Hopefully this will ensure our customers feel safe. It’s unfortunate that there is a need for security, when this is all being caused by just one group of people.

“It shouldn’t be necessary, I’ve been here 16 years and we’ve never needed it before.”

Belinda is now encouraging members of public to make submissions to council on the bylaw.

“Let them know how important this bylaw is. We’re not aiming it at the true homeless, what we’re trying to do is stop these people who are distorting the system.”

Councilor Terry Molloy says the meeting went as well as it could.

He says council’s two-pronged approach came to be as a result of urgency and necessity.

“I’ve made commitments and promises to the community and I’ve just ended up with egg on my face. We move fairly quickly very much supported by the mayor and our CEO.

“We met with these retailers, talked through the issue and went out armed with what we were going to do.


16 Comments

@ By Colleen Spiro

Posted on 11-02-2018 20:14 | By The Caveman

You are correct, it is not just a Council problem, it is also a problem that the POLICE should be acting against. From my personal knowledge, at least 60% of the so called "beggers" are well known to the POLICE for their anti-social, and DRUG activities.

Its about time that the POLICE

Posted on 11-02-2018 20:09 | By The Caveman

Got out of their cars and uniforms and started to take a closer interest in whats going on in MOST of the shopping areas. AND its just not beggers...................... If you know what to look for its also DRUG dealing, and other anti-social activity.

IT IS NOT A COUNCIL PROBLEM

Posted on 11-02-2018 11:11 | By Colleen Spiro

We have laws around vagrancy, drinking in public spaces, loitering, assault, damaging peoples property. Let the police do their job...we need some Police/security presence

Useless

Posted on 11-02-2018 08:52 | By kinakat

Why didn’t the city council already have bylaws in place to prevent such problems in the first place. People have just turned a blind eye to the first one or two street minstrals hanging around Tauranga and the Mount and now look what’s happened TCC are fast tracking what should have already been tracked and in place slack.

Proudly Greerton

Posted on 11-02-2018 07:58 | By pnicky

We proudly lived in Greerton in our first home for 21 years before moving to the other side of town one year ago. Around Christmas last year I stopped in at the local bakery; not sure if its still Baker Bobs or not? Anyway, I was shocked at the amount of begging etc going on. Couldnt walk anywhere without the constant barrage. I used to fiercely defend Greerton from the self-appointed opinionated upper-class knockers of other Tauranga suburbs. That has become a harder sell in recent times with how this situation is impacting on the retail environment. It needs sorting and good on TDC if theyre pushing this through.

Get rates straight - early bird

Posted on 10-02-2018 20:05 | By Sg1nz

No one that doesn’t own a million dollar house is going to pay 9.7% rates. Most on low or fixed income will pay less than current. That doesn’t make headlines, so media stick with the 9.7% click bait headline.

True earlybird

Posted on 10-02-2018 19:28 | By overit

Was down town today and there were at least 5. Some looked like young travellers getting money together to keep travelling. Don’t mind the electric guitarist busking down near Red Square, he adds life to the place. Chucked him some money.

TCC

Posted on 10-02-2018 18:07 | By Capt_Kaveman

at its best, its not their problem but a police and govt one where people are allowed to do what they wish

these bludgers

Posted on 10-02-2018 17:27 | By usandthem

have even moved into the Mount,not just tauranga.Makes the place look really inviting to the thousands of cruise liner passengers and other tourists coming to town.

Less council interference not more

Posted on 10-02-2018 14:59 | By The Tomahawk Kid

We already HAVE the means to prevent and remedy situations like Obstructing footpaths, threatening behavior etc, but people INSIST in involving the council to interfere moreDont they understand that more council interference means More expense, More justification to have MORE councillors, MORE of everybodies rights compromised or stolen as the council use a sledgehammer to break a peanut. More dependance on council to do things when they can be done by existing methods. When will people learn? - Never Im afraid.

slbennings, this is more of a worry ...

Posted on 10-02-2018 14:11 | By Murray.Guy

slbennings writes, ’The meeting was actually organised by one of the TCC Councillors - Mainstreet were simply requested to rally some of the retailers to hear what TCC were planning to do’. How about Mainstreet ’lead and OWN the process’ as they are best positioned to respond to what the issues and needs are. Invite TCC Councillors to ’hear what Mainstreet, the retailers intend to do as they know there patch best, and where appropriate, facilitating staff support.

Homeless & begging

Posted on 10-02-2018 12:32 | By earlybird

The proposed 9.7% rate increase may well see more people ’on the street’ as people on fixed incomes struggle to meet the additional cost.

Small correction

Posted on 10-02-2018 12:15 | By slbennings

The meeting was actually organised by one of the TCC Councillors - Mainstreet were simply requested to rally some of the retailers to hear what TCC were planning to do

What of the children..

Posted on 10-02-2018 12:05 | By Me again

who on their way to school, seeing this. It is disgusting to say the least. Get them away from Greerton village centre and the CBD. There is one or two of them that almost demand your attention. Shameless lot!! No excuse for that.

Remember the good old days

Posted on 10-02-2018 10:51 | By backofthequeue

When police use to patrol on foot their presence alone would deter the undesirable element from hanging around. No need for another ill-considered bylaw when two officers on a regular beat would soon see the back of those who don’t favour scrutiny.

Shopping centres take care of their own issues, try it.

Posted on 10-02-2018 10:16 | By Murray.Guy

How about adopting the ’shopping center mindset’ utilizing your Greerton Village Mainstreet, taking charge of shopping village, partnering with the Greerton Police, employing security if needed. Obstructing footpaths, threatening behavior, is already enforceable, use tress[pass notices.

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