The Dominion Post editorial is sceptical of the City Council’s move to ban large retail outlets, in an attempt to protect the CBD shopping.
I discussed this issue on radio a few weeks ago with Cr John Morrison (who was reasonably ambivalent towards the policy) and commented that I had spent years wondering why there were no large shopping malls in Wellington, and I was forced to go out to North City Plaza to shop at a large mall. The answer it seems, is because the Council bans them in Wellington City.
Now I love the compact inner city we have, and mainly shop there. I love its vibrancy. But I am very sceptical that the Council should be deciding for residents where they shop.
If a commercial operator can make a sucess of a large mall in Johnsonville or Karori or Kilbirnie, then good on them. Yes competition can change things, but where would we be if decades ago Councils banned supermarkets to protect corner diaries?
Plus I believe the CBD retail “golden mile” will thrive regardless of competition. More and more people live in or near the CBD. It has easy public transport in. And having competition from a large mall in the suburbs can result in a better “golden mile” as they have to look at incentives for people to shop there.