They say beggars can’t be choosers, and if the Tauranga City Council has its way, beggars also won’t be choosing to rough sleep or put their hands out around shops and cafes in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Greerton.
A council committee has voted in favour of a move to ban begging and rough sleeping within five metres of public entrances to retail and hospitality businesses in those central areas.
The person leading the charge on this is Councillor Terry Molloy who told Lynda Hallinan on RadioLIVE Long Lunch today, “We’ve had a growing problem here in the CBD, and in some of our outlying townships, that has got to the point where it is actually destroying the community”.
He goes on to say the community now avoids going in to the central areas and townships because they have been intimidated, had money stolen off them at ATMs, had their cars keyed, they’ve been threatened, abused, and even followed home.
“It’s time to do something about it.” Says Mr Molloy. “I believe this is a positive step forward.”
So will it happen? Can the council impose bans on the homeless? And will it bring the community back to their own central spaces?
Listen to the full interview with Councillor Terry Molloy above.
The Long Lunch with Lynda Hallinan, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.