The granting of yet another off-licence in South Auckland, despite more than 600 objections, has seen liquor authorities compared to oppressive Middle Eastern regimes.
Tara Singh, the director of Bains Brothers Limited, applied to open an off-licence in a shopping mall, which houses two BYO restaurants, on Walter Strevens Dr in Conifer Grove.
According to the Liquor Licensing Authority, 667 objections were lodged and 50 people showed up at the hearing earlier this month.
Those opposed claimed there were already too many bottle shops in the area, it was too close to schools, its customers may put people "at risk", security would be jeopardised and traffic flow and noise would increase.
It was also claimed there would be ''mischievous loitering'' around the shopping centre, more ''serious criminal activity'' and that Singh wasn't a suitable licensee because he was previously suspended for selling booze and cigarettes to minors.
''As a democracy surely our voice needs to be heard and listened to,'' one submitter told the authority.
''I am mindful of the events in the Middle East over recent times when over a long period of time the voices of the people have not been heard and the civil unrest and mayhem that has resulted.
"Whilst I am not advocating the same actions here it must serve as a reminder to those who pass the laws of the land that they are elected to carry out the wishes of the people.''
The authority noted there were five other bottle shops in the Takanini area and two supermarkets, but none within a kilometre of the proposed shop.
Singh had initially wanted to open from 9am to 11pm Monday to Sunday but later agreed to amend his hours during Conifer Grove School's term.
The authority noted ''some problems arose'' in respect of one of Singh's former businesses but that happened five years ago and he had a clean record since.
Singh told the authority his bottle shop would target upmarket residents and would sell top-range wine.
Wine would take up 60 per cent of his shop's floor space and while RTDs would be stocked, they'd be kept on the bottom shelf of the chiller and wouldn't be advertised. No single cans or bottles would be sold.
The authority found that Singh was a suitable applicant and granted him a licence.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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