Liquor store location 'ideal' say police

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 08/08/2012

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The location of a proposed new liquor outlet next to a South Auckland TAB has been described as "ideal" by police.

''Quite frankly, if you are going to have another liquor outlet, this is the ideal place for it,'' Sergeant Gavin Campbell told the Liquor Licensing Authority on Friday about a proposed off-licence next to the TAB at Botany South shopping centre.

He said the well-tenanted commercial area had no foot traffic, wasn't near any schools and police from the Ormiston station regularly used a service station next door.

''We share the community's concerns but the reality of the world is that these things can and do exist,'' Campbell said.

The proposed liquor store has attracted vocal community opposition from residents and local businesses.

Barrister Jonathan Wiles said his client Ripal Postoo is a model applicant and his application was not opposed by the District Licensing Agency or police.

Postoo gave the tribunal an undertaking he would not sell single units of alcohol, such as a can of beer, to avoid the outlet being used as a bar for the TAB.

Liquor licensing inspector June Walden supports the application and said the shopping centre's body corporate agrees to work with the police under the Trespass Act to effectively create a private liquor ban in the car park.

She wasn't sure if it would stop patrons pre-loading before going to a bar but said it would give police more power to move people on.

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman John McCracken said the board is united in its opposition to the liquor licence.

He said its policy is to ''strongly advocate for a sinking lid'' on the number of liquor outlets, and in this case it objected to the ''long'' opening hours of 9am to 11pm and to the risk of pre-loading in the car park.

The board produced a report which said each additional off-licence was associated with an additional 85.4 ''police events'' a year and 10.3 motor vehicle accidents.

The report also states extra stores were associated with violent, sexual and drug and alcohol offences.

Earlier this year the board unsuccessfully took the Liquor Licensing Authority to the High Court to try and overturn a license they granted for a liquor store in their area.

Shopping centre body corporate chairman Neil Black said the group will do ''whatever actions necessary'' to make sure the proposed store didn't adversely affect other tenants.

Judge John Hole was concerned about conflict of interest with the District Licensing Agency and the local board both being part of Auckland Council.

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Several members of the public attended the hearing to object to the proposed Super Liquor outlet.

A decision on the licence is expected to be made in a few weeks time.

- Auckland Now

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