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Waitaki MP and Small Business spokesperson Jacqui Dean says she hopes commonsense prevails in regard to a Central Otago cafe’s seating dilemma.

“I feel for the owners of this small business who are affected by this resource consent predicament.

“The couple bought their cafe business under the impression it was consented for seating for up to 60 people, only to be recently informed by council that it was actually only for 12.

“I’m now hoping that the Central Otago District Council takes a commonsense approach and does all that it can to help these business owners resolve this issue.

“This young couple bought this cafe business in good faith, they have been operating it professionally and successfully, and have the community behind them with 2000 people signing a petition in support.

“This is a terrible situation for them to be in - with the future viability of their small business hanging in the balance - and I would hope that the council does all that it can to help them and support them through this.

“Small business owners tell me time and time again that the Resource Management Act (RMA) is a complicated and costly piece of legislation to deal with.

“If this seating issue drags on, it has the potential to cripple this business and I would like to think that the council will do everything possible to prevent this from happening - after all a cafe in Bannockburn is an asset for the community.

“National wants to comprehensively rewrite the RMA so that it supports the needs of businesses rather than creating barriers to economic growth, and hopefully scenarios like this will be more easily resolved.”

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