Tauranga’s new downtown waterfront market offers lots of variety, in a pleasing dockside setting - a good way to spend at least three quarters of an hour on a cruisy Saturday.
The market was launched on Saturday, 13th December, with a steady if not huge, stream of visitors wandering past the stalls set up in front the Kestrel – an area with covered seating, palm trees and lots of green grass – idea for the purpose.
The new market is the brainchild of Suzanne Masee, who shifted to Tauranga from Nelson, and saw the waterfront as the perfect spot for a market. She says the emphasis is on creative people with creative inspirations and visions. The market was definitely not envisaged as a car-boot sale.
We found the market measured up to all that, with creativity in plentiful supply. The stalls offer lots of variety, with everything from jewellery of different kinds, to weaving, handicrafts (Asian and Maori), and clothing.
Aside from quality knick knacks, the market is a good place to stop in if you’re on your way to the beach for a picnic, with a few good food gourmet produce stalls (hopefully more will join in). We sampled some excellent smoked snapper that was moist and delicately flavoured. Vegetable samosas stuffed with potatoes and spices also hit the spot.
Well known Mount Maunganui artisan bread maker, Flaveur are selling their organic sourdough, and other breads, and The Chilli Company has a stall with its oils and sauces that are all rated on a hotness scale 1-5, so you won’t be caught unawares. Another stall sold a variety of fresh vegetables. Other wares that caught our eye included coloured flowers woven from flax, Indonesia wooden puppets, and block-mounted photos of local scenery.
Ms Massee has reportedly obtained a temporary agreement from council for the market, which will be reviewed after six market days. Support this colourful outlet for Tauranga people’s enterprise and creativity, or we’ll lose it.