Interview with Bevan Chuang

I interviewed Bevan Chuang who is the market coordinator of the New Lynn night market event. I had to film and do a voice recording as the public location of the meeting meant I had to ensure that individuals that appeared in the background were not being filmed as I didn’t have their consent. The parts filmed will be available on my YouTube page which is http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLaMS9rT0XxTNCH4YJahbxQ.

Also I decided to type up the interview because unfortunately the location where we filmed was busy so the sound quality is quite poor- however this location was chosen as it catered to the interviewee’s convenience. Below are some key points from the interview that were recorded.

Q. What is your association with the New Lynn Night Market.

  • Bevan is the market co-ordinator for the New Lynn night market.
  • The need for an event for New Lynn was proposed by the local residents to the New Lynn community development team as they wanted the place to be “buzzing”.
  • A similar multicultural community event that took place last year called the Legends of the Moon run by the Auckland council on Totara Avenue- the same place the night market is held- also increased the public’s interest for a similar event. [This event was also held this year due to last year’s success]
  • The New Lynn community development team then thought of setting up the night market and trial it for a six month period to see “whether or not it is feasible, whether or not it fits the transformation [of New Lynn] but also whether… it fits the community development goal”
  • Bevan has been involved in the project since February of this year. She began with handling the paper work to managing the event and is currently gathering feedback of the event in order to make the report for the Council to see what is to be done in the future.

Q. As this is only a trial, do you see a possibility for it to become a permanent part of the community and perhaps establish in different parts of the city and country?

  • Bevan said that other community advisors are interested, however they too want to see the final result of how the New Lynn trial night market fares before they go on to do similar things.
  • “Orakei is another one that has expressed interest”
  • The event is focused more on community than commerciality and so she is doubtful that it will be able to run in the long-run under the Council as it would be quite expensive to run as the vendors are not being charged the full price to hold their stalls.

Q. Have you received any criticism or concerns regarding the night market?

  • Criticism they have received is regarding the ‘wash against waste’ concept
  • This concept involves the dishes being washed instead of disposable plates, and the food scraps being recycled through compost bins and worm farms to promote a greener environment.
  • Concerns about hygiene have been brought up regarding this concept by people. Bevan however, claims that the concept has been doing well as the New Lynn night market is still relatively small allowing for the concept to run.
  • The previous week they had washed over 530 plates washed, which she does admit was difficult due to fewer volunteers, so they aim to improve that for the future.
  • The only other criticism they have received concerns the weather as it is an out-doors event, and they have had to cancel the event two occasions.

Q. What do you think this event means for the community?

  • The night markets attracts the local residents to take advantage of the new facilities there. She would like to see more traffic there even on days besides Thurdays, as the idea is based more on community development.
  • “the store holders would tell you he makes more money in one night than he does at his shop…over three days, which is…not very good because we’re trying to build up the business here”

Q. Why was New Lynn picked for this pilot night market?

  • The area has been going through major development in terms of transport and infrastructure over the past three years, however the place itself has still been quiet.
  • “…the transformation project… includes the new roading…, apartments, carpark and medical centre,new pavements and the shared spaces outside the community centre”
  • “We wanted to revitalize the place, it used to be quite a buzzing place, and now we’ve got the new train and bus station we want to create the buzz again…create interest.”
  • The council are looking at developing other parts of  New Lynn, so the changes around Totara Avenue mark the beginning for the future developments
  • “The community has been really supportive- there is always room for improvement but i think so far we have heard more good things than bad, so that’s really supportive and good news for the council too”
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