The Taranaki Daily News reports:
A campaign urging Waitara people to boycott a new food outlet has backfired, with the business posting its busiest day yet.
Town and Country Food owner Hoyt Khuon said yesterday was one of his busiest days since the shop opened one month ago.
About 100 people had phoned him offering their support and apologising for Ms George’s behaviour, he said.
“I say `don’t worry about it. I’m just loving what I’m doing here’.”
I love it that this campaign backfired. It might make a more intelligent person reconsider the wisdom of what they are doing.
Mr Khuon, 31, came to New Zealand as a refugee in 1998 and lived with his grandmother in Hamilton before he moved to Waitara six weeks ago.
“I’m a Kiwi, I have a New Zealand passport.
This was the first time he had owned his own business.
I think it is great that someone who came here as a refugee, could become a small business owner. That is the Kiwi way.
Ms George said she apologised to the council and the community “for bringing them into disrepute”.
She also apologised for saying she would investigate the immigration status of Mr Khuon and his employees.
“It was in the heat of the moment. I’m not playing the race game.”
On Wednesday she accused Town and Country Food of being a franchise which was “sucking the community dry”.
Mr Khuon said that Town and Country was not a franchise.
Recently Mrs George spent $20,000 fitting out half of a shop she owned in Waitara for an Indian restaurant franchise Masala Express, which was owned by a New Plymouth resident.
So she is landlord to a franchise – while arguing against franchises.
I have an idea for Mr Khoun. Why doesn’t he stand for the District Council at the next election. I suspect he would romp in.