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Tawa makes basket case for shopping strip flowers

Nov 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

BASKET CASE: A Hawke's Bay example of hanging baskets.

TAWA  retailers are questioning a proposal to spend money on hanging plant baskets along the suburb’s main road.

The proposal was put to this month’s meeting of the Tawa Community Board by Chris Reading, who said he wanted to beautify Tawa.

The board member says retailers support the idea as long as they do not have to water the plants.

“Irrigation cost would need to be covered as well,” Mr Reading told the meeting.

The board agreed to look into using its discretionary funds to buy the baskets and is asking the Tawa Ratepayers Association to apply for a mayoral grant for irrigation costs of $3000.

Most retailers spoken to by Newswire, however, questioned the spending.

Baresh Hari, 50, works for DTR, a shop on the main road and has had his store robbed twice this year says.

“There are more important things, like cameras for the increasing crime rate happening in Tawa.”

Others in the community think it would look lovely.

“I think they look very lovely and I think it would make it look more villagey,” says retail assistant Janice Wagstaff, 66.

Butcher Guy Chambers, 18, thinks it’s a good idea but he couldn’t water them during work hours.

Elaine Rowse who owns an Irish store called Mc Phees which is located in the area where the baskets would hang, challenged the board’s priorities.

“I suppose it depends who pays for it and who’s going to look after them. I think that there are more important things to be doing. Hanging baskets are not going to get people into Tawa to shop.”

Chris Fagerlund, manager of Tawa United Video, is also concerned about vandalism.

“It would be an interesting change but no I don’t think it will help the area. We already have people jumping up and hitting our signs. What’s going to stop them from jumping up and hitting the pot plants?”

Costs of the baskets are estimated at $50 including hanging equipment per basket with a refilling price of $20, which would happen twice a year.

The board have roughly estimated needing 50 baskets to stretch the length of the main road shopping area.

Wellington City Councillor Justin Lester, who supports the idea, told the meeting he would assess the number needed.

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