When residents of Tahunanui need to go to the supermarket, they are left with two options.
They can go to Stoke, or they can make the trip into Nelson.
If they don’t have a car or bike, they can always use an online grocery delivery service at an extra cost – or they could pay a bit more for a loaf of bread from one of the suburbs many convenience stores.
But should they have to?
A resident’s survey carried out by the Tahunanui Community Centre three years ago revealed that a supermarket was on the top of the list of things people wanted for the suburb.
That want, and need, has not changed.
Paul Ladbrook, manager of the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, says recent discussions with staff and campers have led him to believe a supermarket would be a real asset to the suburb.
“Their reply is always ‘hell yes’.”
Rob Stevenson, chairman of the Tahunanui Business Association, remembers when there was a store on Tahunanui Dr in the 1960s.
“Jones’ Food Market, it was called. My mother used to like it.”
But he says people have wanted a reasonable-sized supermarket in Tahunanui for a long time.
“Apart from dairies and the fruit and vegetable stall, there isn’t really anything else. Even something the size of Raewood Fresh [in Richmond] would be good.
“When you think about the catchment area – there is the Port Hills, suburban Tahunanui, Moana, the campground. There is a lot of support for one.”
But who would build it and where would it go?
A supermarket has been mooted for years as part of the Ocean View apartment development on Beach Rd, and there is a high change it could come to fruition, according to developer Tony Vining.
The development consists of 37 luxury apartments overlooking the Tahunanui Recreation Reserve, 24 which have already sold.
“We are very close to final sign off for the apartments and are currently looking at commercial development options for the site. We would be open to consider a supermarket as part of this,” he says.
“There still seems to be very strong public support for one in the Tahunanui area.”
Jacques Reynolds, business development and operations manager at Bayleys Nelson, says physical works on the development could start this month and it’s “highly likely” a supermarket could be part of the overall project.
“We’re in early talks. Everyone we’ve spoken to has asked us if there are plans for one – but what form or size, we’re not sure at this stage.”
Plans are also still bubbling away at the old Suburban Club site on Tahunanui Dr.
Gibbons Holdings purchased the site in 2016, with the company confirming a year later that they would be developing the complex into a retail hub. A convenience store was one of the options.
However, the project has stalled with Gibbons unable to confirm a timeframe.
So, while Tahunanui residents have takeaway options and convenience stores aplenty, it still remains wedged between the two supermarket meccas of the city – Nelson and Stoke, without one to call their own.