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Otaki Yard which was to officially open on Saturday 21 March; was going to be the next big market in Otaki that’d bring multiple people into the town. but unfortunately, they’d announced that their significant investment is no longer happening to protect the health of locals from spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The plan for the Otaki Yard event included a large restaurant/bar, a walkway with specialty shops, as well as a market and a food-truck area for consumers/customers coming by.
There are many shops in Otaki but are currently vacant; this means many traders and residents of Otaki & the local districts had no way to sell and share their new ideas to the community. The Otaki Yard was put in place to fix that solution.
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The new Expressway that typically bypasses Otaki was going to affect business; hence inviting a new market to the town of Otaki will attract and encourage new people to visit along.
The Otaki Yard market grounds were aiming to get around 100 stalls, from new businesses to current showcasing their goods and services for the public to enjoy. This incl. Fresh produce, cutlery, jewellery, artisan goods, plants, new types of cheese, and many other goods, but the one rule was that it had to be locally owned and run to be a stallholder.
We initially reached out to Otaki Yard to interview on their first launch day, but that went down the bin after Jacinda Ardern had announced on March 16th 2020 days beforehand that the country had to cancel any event with 500 or more people attending to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
We asked one of the reps from Otaki Yard for comment, here is what they’d said:
– What caused the event to come to a quick closure amid COVID-19?
The postponement comes after the Government’s new guidelines that all events with 500 or more expected attendees to be canceled or postponed
– What are the precautions you’re taking to protect New Zealanders?
We have decided to postpone the Ōtaki Yard market until we get a directive from the Government to reopen.
– How will the projection take place in the future amid COVID-19?
We are very disappointed that won’t be opening this month, especially given the extremely enthusiastic response from stallholders, food trucks and the general public. We are very confident that the market will become a real success when it does open, because of the feedback and support we have generated to date and with Otaki becoming much more accessible from Wellington due to the transmission gully which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Our aim is to attract strong individual traders offering unique items rather than just national multiples, both in our shops and in the market, as this will attract more people to the town, particularly from Wellington, as well as making it the place to go to on the Otaki coast for food & produce.
– What is the refund process that is taking place for people that have paid for tickets, etc. is there a refund process?
Yes. All purchased tickets have been fully refunded to stallholders and food trucks.
– Is there a set date to re-schedule at this current early stage?
At this stage, we can’t confirm when it will be opened – we are waiting until we get a directive from the Government to open. Due to this uncertainty, all stallholders and food trucks booked in for the market have been fully refunded.