St Heliers retailers want to be included on events

Frustrated business owners in St Heliers are calling for more consultation in the lead-up to large recreational events around the waterfront.

They are being backed by Orakei Local Board members who are urging the council to seek input from the group.

"We are going to work with businesses and residents to make sure there is more consultation in advance of any event that takes place in St Heliers," board member Kate Cooke says.

Missed business opportunities during events like the Ports of Auckland Round the Bays is one thing they would like to address.

Board chairwoman Desley Simpson says participants who finished the March 9 fun run and walk at Vellenoweth Green were guided to Madills Farm Reserve and had no reason to venture into St Heliers.

"It seems a shame there isn't more consideration to involve the local businesses and enable them to benefit from an event that brings all these extra people into our community," she says.

Village Co-Op manager Alex Shaw is all for early consultation.

She says trade was down on the day because roads surrounding the area were closed.

"It'd probably be better for all businesses in St Heliers if runners weren't directed towards Madills Farm. I'm sure the Green is big enough to accommodate everyone."

Annabelle's Restaurant duty manager Joseph Jo says access to information kept by event organisers might give business operators the chance to plan marketing strategies.

The 42-year-old event is part-owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of the East & Bays Courier. Fairfax Media marketing director Campbell Mitchell says the company is committed to making ongoing improvements.

"Round the Bays is an iconic celebration of community and healthy living for Aucklanders. This year 40,000 runners and walkers had a fantastic day and raised more than $230,000 for charity.

"We look forward to working closely with the St Heliers business community to ensure that Round the Bays is a success for everyone involved."

East And Bays Courier