Nico Fini and Luigi Ferrari outside their food stall in Oneroa. Fini spent more than $100,000 on the current setup but is facing closure due to consent issues.  Photo Sophie Boladeras

Island Frenchie, one of Waiheke’s tiniest but mightiest eateries, may have to relocate from its prime Oneroa position due to consent issues.

Nico Fini, the powerhouse behind Island Frenchie, who operated out of a food truck before customising the shipping container he has worked out of since, was unaware that he needed building consent for the container set-up.

“It’s hard to get it retrospectively. I asked if we could trade while we get sorted, but the council said we have to close by 21 February.

“The process will take weeks or months. If I’d known, I would have done it properly,” Fini told Gulf News.

“Everyone I talk to is surprised you need a building consent for a container. All the work was done by registered tradespeople.”

Confusion around the use of shipping containers and in what situations consent is required isn’t new.

Such containers have grown in popularity over recent years and are often utilised for affordable storage, housing, and retail operations.

Containers like Fini’s are classified as a building under Hauraki Gulf Islands rules, but one island planner says that because they’re small, some people aren’t aware they need consent.

Under the building consent waiver that came into effect in 2020, certain low-risk and accessory structures up to 30m2 no longer need building consent. However, Fini’s altered container, used for commercial purposes in a commercial zone, doesn’t qualify.

• Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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