The owner of Ōrewa restaurant Someplace Else says he is devastated that Auckland Transport (AT) has declined his application for compensation.
Roadworks to extend Ōrewa Boulevard, which began last month, have severely impacted access to the restaurant, which was forced to close for a week, after having two weeks with no sales.
Someplace Else owner Nav Rana says in the process he has also lost his business partner, who has now left the country. Three staff have also left because the restaurant is not able to give them sufficient work.
“I don’t blame them,” Rana says. “It has left me just holding on and trying to survive.”
The business applied to AT for loss of business in the amount of around $20,000. Rana says this represents the two weeks that there was no safe access, and therefore no customers.
“I was only asking for the bare minimum. We have lost a lot more than that. We are being supported by customers now that there is some access, but it’s less than 50 percent of our normal trade. We’re prepared to wear that, but thought asking for two weeks of complete loss of earnings was fair.”
He says he supplied AT with income figures for last year at the same time, when Someplace Else had just opened.
In a letter dated June 3, AT says it assessed the claim “in a fair and reasonable manner”, taking into consideration factors such as: “whether the notice provided in relation to the intention to start construction works was given within a reasonable time period, whether the claimant was occupying the premises prior to the construction works commencing and whether the claimant took reasonable steps to protect its interests or to mitigate potential losses during construction works”.
AT concluded that “there has been no substantial ‘injurious affection’ caused by the project construction works”. The letter suggests legal advice or the office of the Ombudsman as avenues if the company is not happy with the decision.
Rana says he is currently considering what to do next.
“Before the work began, we had a talk with a representative from AT who told me that our access would not be affected, and they would be able to work around it. When they started digging right outside, we contacted AT, but we had to go to Hibiscus Matters and Whangaparāoa MP Mark Mitchell before they took any notice of our complaint,” he says. “We are gutted.”