McDonald’s has resource consent to build a new restaurant in Christchurch, the 16th in the city, but the community has spoken out in protest. The site, on the corner of Ferry Rd and Heathcote Rd, is on the main street of Woolston and was made vacant after the demolition of a heritage building in 2011. However, it is within 700 metres of two school, and community leaders are accusing McDonald’s of targeting children. St Anne’s principal Dallas Wichman argued that the location of the restaurant is at odds with the healthy diet curriculum promoted at the school. “You’ll either get sugar-hyped kids in the morning or they starve themselves all day to go down and buy things like frozen Coke after school,” he said.

McDonald’s has denied those accusations, saying that the location was chosen because it is along an arterial route.

“We have worked through the [Christchurch City] Council process with the resource consent and, as with any new restaurant, are sensitive to the communities in which we operate,” said a spokesman.