Community gets say on bottle store locations

Aucklanders may soon get more say about the location of bottle stores. 

After the passing of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act last December, Auckland Council is now developing a local alcohol policy.

It will  guide licensing decisions and could also determine location, density and maximum trading hours of licensed premises.

"This will enable us to develop a policy that reflects Auckland and its communities with greater local input into policy development and liquor licensing decisions," Councillor George Wood, chair of the council's Community Safety Forum said.

"There is a huge programme of work to implement the new Act but we have already done a lot of work to prepare for this and are committed to getting the new rules in place in a timely manner."

For the last two years various local boards have challenged the proliferation of bottle stores in their areas but have been largely powerless to stop them.

The Otara Papatoetoe Local Board even unsuccessfully challenged the granting of an off licence to the High Court.

The new Act will also see District Licensing Committees determine liquor licensing applications, instead of the council acting as the sole district licensing agency.

Throughout this year, council will also be engaging with the industry, key stakeholders and communities. 

The public will get a say on the policy which is expected to be delivered over the next 18 months. 

The new liquor licensing system is part of a wider council alcohol programme, which includes reviewing liquor bylaws and liquor bans.

Auckland Now