Chamber combats ram raiders 

Concrete blocks provide new protection for Noel Leeming in Te Awamutu. 

A Te Awamutu committee is being formed to address ram raid issues.

In 14 months, Te Awamutu’s Noel Leeming has been ramraided three times.

The company has previously  declined to comment The News about the issue.

“They are at the point where it is almost not viable to remain open, we don’t want to lose a business like that,” said Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce chair Maria Heslop.

“It is awful, and from the chamber’s point of view, having that thing happen all the time puts people off coming to live in Te Awamutu, opening businesses and it is chasing businesses away.”

The store is one of many to be targeted in what can be considered a national crime wave.

Last week a school van was used in a ramraid on a Te Aroha diary.

The Chamber is spearheading the committee, which had its first meeting on Tuesday.

Heslop told The News that a lack of council action has caused shop owners to take charge of the situation.

“It is up to shop owners to keep their own shops safe,” she said.

As well as chamber members, the meeting saw shop owners, CommSafe and local police attend.

Constable Ryan Fleming also attended Tuesday’s meeting, is supportive of the committee, and works closely with CommSafe.

Last month bollards were installed in front of Noel Leeming to deter future ramraids. Fleming told The News giant concrete pot plants could be an alternative to any subsequent bollards.

“There are so many different ways to go about it, that is the idea of getting the committee together,” Heslop said.

“It also kind of feeds into the Who Are We Te Awamutu Survey, because most of that survey is finding an identity to the town and trying to make the main street look like that identity… if we are going to put pots in and all the rest of it, it kind of feeds back to that.”

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