Nelson businesses have had enough of the lack of progress in the Lewis Stanton situation and have ‘hung out their washing’ in a silent protest against the notorious Nelsonian.
Untouchable Hair & Skin owner Richard Adams kicked off the protest, hanging out an assortment of clothing in front of his shop first thing this morning.
“It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek protest against Hone,” says Richard. “I feel for him, he’s got a few problems but he shouldn’t be making them our problem.
“He abused a client of mine the other week and that’s what got me going, she is an elderly woman and she tripped on one of his signs and he took after her and just abused her so I thought, enough is enough.
Richard says he’s prepared to help Hone but if he won’t accept help it’s likely to become an endless battle.
“It’s not doing Nelson any good, it’s not doing Hone any good and it’s no way to spend the last 20 years of your life.”
The situation is on the agenda in a public forum during tomorrow’s Nelson City Council meeting.
The issue will be addressed at around 9am and Gaire Thompson will be speaking, representing the inner city retailers and property owners group at the meeting which will be held in the council chambers.
“All Gaire Thompson wants to do is protect his pavement and protect his investment,” says Richard. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to have a safe city and people just don’t feel safe around him.”
Also hanging out washing in protest is Hogey’s Surf owner, John Hogey who says the protest campsite is a disgrace to Nelson and is costing local businesses.
“He is camping outside legitimate businesses who have never done anything to wrong or harm him in any way but his gripe is with council not them, he is costing them massive business, cooking and doing his washing right outside their stores, people avoid the arcade and cross the street to avoid him and the shops are losing out.
“Council needs to step up and sort this out so we’ve hung our washing out to show that it’s time to do something,” says John. “We can’t take away his right to protest but he needs to be in a more appropriate place and that is in front of council, not in front of these poor bloody shops.”
When told about the protests, Hone Heke says even he doesn’t want to be camping out on Trafalgar St.
“I don’t want to be here but this is my reality, hanging out washing on the street is my reality, I want council to resolve it because they started it in the first place and I’m only here because I’ve been forced to be.”