Napier restaurants face scaffolding woes

Scaffolding outside a row of restaurants in Napier is costing the eateries up to $1,500 a night by reducing seating capability by around 40 percent. Carparking is also being affected as lighting work on Hastings St cuts into their earnings – not long after a six-month street upgrade which also dealt a blow to businesses.

“It is the peak of the season and this happens — there are visitors everywhere now,” said Paul Trass of human resources company VP Services, which is working with the businesses. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Paul Anderson of award-winning restaurant Indigo estimated that the lack of outdoor seating cost his establishment up to $1,500 on Tuesday night, having to turn 24 people away. He said that most of the restaurants along Hastings St relied on the boost of summer income to get them through the quieter winter months, and that the prior six-month disruption had cost him around $100,000 dollars.

Napier City Council marketing and communications manager Craig Ogburn said that the plan was originally to conduct the lighting upgrade during the street restoration, but had run out of time. He said that the upgrades had to go ahead now because they needed to be ready in time for the Art Deco Festival in mid-February.

“It has to be done now. And being Art Deco style it will draw people there so will be a benefit in the long term.”