Safer shops: protecting our people and customers

Grey Lynn Business Association – safer shops protecting our people and customers

Grey Lynn’s Businesses Association, responding to the terrible events of last Tuesday night, say it’s time to stop retailers, their staff and customers being subjected to violence from the streets. Positioned as a city fringe community Grey Lynn has a number of vulnerabilities. The Association’s action plan is designed to address these by making shops safer, protecting our people and customers as well as enhancing the overall shopping experience.

The Grey Lynn Urban Centre has many unique and award winning retailers. Our aim is to protect and enhance what we have, retaining our heritage while encouraging new retailers to be part of our vibe.

Joint chairs of the Association Jacob Faull and Irene King said the action plan has four key components:

  1. Community & Capability Building. Immediately deploy a programme in partnership with NZ Police to help businesses prioritise safety, strengthen neighbourhood support and understand how to manage challenging situations.
  2. Village Centre Refresh. Engage property owners, businesses in a community-led working bee to refresh the Grey Lyn urban centre that will show solidarity and support, while making the streetscape a better place to be.
  3. Celebrating our Businesses. Grey Lynn has a large number of businesses unique in their heritage, back-story and part in the community. The Association will develop channels to feature these stories, helping re-connect consumers with the Grey Lynn urban centres through relevance and relationship.
  4. Champion Change. The commercial strategy work being undertaken has already identified the need to improve some businesses relationship with the street. This relates primarily with dairies and convenience stores – few of which have strong active edges. The organisation wants to see Grey Lynn as an exemplar in how these stores better connect with their community and perform economically.

In undertaking this work we’ve requested that the Auckland Council to :

  1. Connect & Engage with us to facilitate alignment of ideas and intent.
  2. Provide Expert Guidance. Help in understanding what early success for the Grey Lynn urban centre villages would look like from an urban design aspect (i.e., what simple, stakeholder-led initiatives, could assist in the immediate term)
  3. Assist with any fast simple solutions that could provide (activations, street furniture or improvements to the existing environment ), guidance to businesses, lighting improvements, arbour or horticulture refreshment, removal of bus shelters not being used, general aesthetics  etc
  4. Work with the Association to champion change that is collaboratively leading an industry conversation to help improve the safety of these vulnerable businesses with the intention of making Grey Lynn an exemplar. This would be both through strategy, the co-option of corporates, government and community support.

Irene King speaking on the Association’s behalf said “we are not looking for the Council to lead these initiatives; we have a group of retailers who are prepared to volunteer their time and energy to address the Grey Lynn centric issues. What we do need is an urgent and very clear dialogue with the city planners responsible for championing urban design.”

The Association is hopeful this will occur within the next fortnight. In the meantime we are looking forward to announcing some new initiatives around safety and security training for our retailers.

For comments contact

Irene King on 021936838 or 

Note the Grey Lynn Urban Centre encompasses the retailers and businesses of Arch Hill, Grey Lynn Village, Surrey Crescent, West Lynn Village, Richmond Road valley and Richmond Rise

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