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Residents oppose liquor store by school

DONNA-LEE BIDDLE
Last updated 18:21 21/06/2014

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A South Auckland community took to the streets today to protest the opening of another liquor outlet in its area. 

The Mangere Otahuhu Local Board opposed allowing a new store to open its doors in Mangere, across the road from a school, the Southern Cross Campus.

But 10 days later, the licence was granted by the Auckland District Licensing Committee. 

Hone Fowler, of the Mangere East Community Learning Centre, organised a rally this morning of 100 people to voice opposition. 

Fowler said, "It doesn't stack up, it doesn't make any sense."

"It's easier to buy booze than buy fresh fruit. This is our reality, but this is not what our community wants."

"People making these decisions are not from our community. Enough is enough," Fowler said.

The local board plans to appeal the decision and Fowler said they won't be backing down.

He said he the community is united and buoyed by support from elite sportswoman Valerie Adams, who tweeted her support by wearing an 'Enough is Enough' shirt.

Politicians also took part in today's protest.

Mana co-vice president John Minto said poorer communities were awash with cheap booze and he was unhappy about alcohol advertising targeted at teenagers.

"Low income areas are particularly targeted by the parasites on poverty - alcohol outlets, pokie machines, loan sharks, fast-food joints and until recently legal highs."

Fowler said there seemed to be a rush to get alcohol licences before Auckland council tightened policies.

The liquor store owners said they would not sell alcohol between 3pm and 4pm.

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