A Katikati market trader is demanding answers from organisers of Tauranga’s latest night market after being left without a stall and $600 out of pocket.
What started out like any other Sunday turned sour for Niki Evans after her allocated space at the Tauranga Night Markets was taken right from under her nose in the Bayfair Shopping Centre.
People taking in the sights and smells at a night market. Photo: File.
Run by Auckland Night Markets, who have eight established markets under the stars in the big smoke, the first Tauranga version at Bayfair Shopping Centre’s underground car park was held on November 23.
After attending the inaugural event, Niki, who sells sell crystals and gems, contacted organiser Cadence Kaumoana to book two car parks for the Sunday’s latest edition at $30 a space.
Arriving early on Sunday, Niki sat with other stall holders in the shopping centre’s underground car park for up to an hour unaware the venue had been moved outside due to a permit to host the market inside yet to be signed by Tauranga City Council.
Yet just around the corner in the outside car park, next to the Caltex service station, other stall holders were setting up in the 150 allocated spaces.
Tracking down Cadence, Niki was informed organisers were not told until Friday about the shift in venue – something Niki is still angered about.
She adds the majority of stalls were food vendors who could have in fact been informed by Cadence.
“If it was on Friday she could have contacted us all to let us know, because this is my fulltime job,” says Niki.
“I go from market to market and I was quite disgusted that she didn’t notify us.
“People from Whakatane, Hamilton and Auckland turned up for this market and if you don’t have an awning you can’t go outside. They didn’t go into the car park to let us know it wasn’t in there.”
Without a stall for the evening, the market trader of five years was left without an estimated wage of $600 for the week, coupled with the $100 spent on travel and supplies for Sunday event.
“I’m definitely not going back because I feel like I have been misled and I’m kind of out of money for the week,” she adds.
Tauranga Night Market organiser Cadence Kaumoana says due to the market goers exceeding the permitted level at the opening event, the market was forced to shift outdoors at the last minute.
Forced to apply for a special fire clearance from TCC, organisers expect the 150 licensed stalls to be back indoors in the coming weeks.
Cadence says the size of the indoor and outdoor market spaces are identical and all stall holders were advised to arrive at a certain time.
“If they come too late and others have arrived, we will give their space away. That’s common practice at a market,” says Cadence.
“There are signs everywhere and people everywhere, but if they missed it that’s really unfortunate because everyone else seemed to find us.”
Supported by Tauranga City Council, the Tauranga Night Markets is at Bayfair Shopping Centre’s underground car park from 5.30pm to 11pm every Sunday.