Shutters are coming down on the kiwi millworks store in Whakarewarewa, and the shop owners are calling for everyone to close and lock their doors.
Key points:The millwork store in the Whakaretuna neighbourhood has shut for about a week and has been the focus of intense protestsKey pointsA large part of the Whampoa CBD is closed and residents are locked inThe Whampoan shop is in a busy area with people walking around and there are already many locks in placeThe Whacka Whackanamare shop is a popular tourist attraction with visitors who frequent the areaKiwi Millworks is a small, private business that has been shuttered for about six weeks.
The store was established in 2015 by the Whackamare family, who live in Whackarara, to sell kiwis.
It has since grown to cater for a variety of customers and now has around 10 employees, all of whom are employed through their union, the Kaitaia Waihopai.
They said the store has been running normally but this week was affected by the extreme heat, which meant it was no longer safe for staff to work.
The shop is currently closed, but the Whakaara District Council has said it is planning to reopen the store on Sunday.
The Whakatane District Council said it would provide a “safe and welcoming environment” for all its staff.
It said the council would consider an appeal to the High Court if the shutters were not reopened by the end of the week.
Key facts:Whakatene District Councils chief executive David Wair said the kihi mill would reopen on Sunday, after a week in lockdownThe shop has been closed for about four weeks, and workers have been locked in for nearly a weekThe Whakaarara District Councillors have been contacted for commentThe Whachapara District council said the Kiwi Mills would reopen by the middle of the day on Sunday and said it had not received any complaints about the shuttering.
“It is important that everyone is safe and secure,” it said in a statement.
“There are already over 20 locks in operation in the shop and no lockdowns have been reported to council staff.”
A large section of the city has been locked down as the heatwave sweeps the country.
More than 100 residents have been ordered to leave their homes.
The heatwave is also affecting the kaiwa district of the state, where the Government has imposed severe heat restrictions.
The city has had to be closed and a new emergency centre has been set up to manage the heat.
In the latest blow, Whakaua Mayor Paul Lidster said he would appeal against the decision to close the kiawi mill in Whukuhelea.
“I have to take a stance and say I’m not going to sit here and let the community decide who lives and who dies,” he said.
“People need to be safe and not be subject to this kind of threat.”
“This isn’t the end, this is just the beginning.”
The Whukuhete district of Whakararra is also facing severe heatwaves.
The council said it was planning to open the shop on Sunday to serve tourists who visit the area.
The Kaitahia Wailongi Whakatai Waiwai, which represents the local community, said in its statement that the shop was a popular destination for people who visit Whaketown, including tourists.
“This decision has been taken to protect the safety of the shopkeepers and the public,” it added.
“We are concerned that this decision has caused significant inconvenience and we hope the council will take appropriate action to mitigate the damage caused.”