Is Napier’s Dickens Street becoming literally more and more Dickensian?
There were Great Expectations for Dickens Street after its revitalisation a few years ago, but it appears to be going through some Hard Times.
At its Hastings Street end we have a noisy, smelly and dusty industrial revolution of construction and destruction.
At the other end we have the squalor of the still half-empty and abandoned Mid City Plaza – a Bleak House going mouldy on the outside and crumbling inside, while across the road a store sells “legal” highs to local street urchins.
Now I see a giant “$2 Shop”-type store opening in the middle of Dickens Street (there are already around three such stores in close proximity).
This is no Old Curiosity Shop – rather an immense purveyor of too-cheap goods – the sort poor little Oliver Twist had to make for a pittance.
Another of these ‘bargain’ stores is not encouraging for central Napier’s growth, retail quality or the region’s reputation for low wages. You have to wonder who let it get in this state?
With festive season fast approaching, we can only hope those letting our CBD down hear an inspirational Christmas Carol or have a life-changing dream and stop being such Scrooges!