'Weary' opponents fight store

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013
PKC Liquor
UNDER CONSIDERATION: Proceedings are under way to decide whether the Pahurehure shopping centre is to house a new liquor store.

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About 40 people turned out for a hearing to decide whether a new liquor store will open in Pahurehure.

The store, owned by Satnam Bains of Harpreet Kaur Ltd, would follow a similar format to the Conifer Grove Wines store which he opened last year despite strong community opposition.

The proposed store is at the shops on the corner of Rushgreen Ave, around 400 metres from Ray Small skatepark and next to bus stops used by school students. It would open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.

It would target the well-off Pahurehure Inlet market with an emphasis on fine wines and spirits and a minimum of ready-to-drink mixes and related advertising.

At last Tuesday's Liquor Licensing Authority hearing at the council offices on Coles Crescent police told Judge John Hole the Pahurehure area mirrored Conifer Grove, both in geographical and socioeconomic terms and had a similar density of liquor outlets. They said the Papakura community was "weary" of fighting liquor stores and asked for restricted trading hours similar to Conifer Grove Wines which closes when children are travelling to and from school.

Mr Bains disagreed with that proposal on the basis that unlike the Conifer Grove store, the proposed store did not back on to a school or kindergarten.

A total of 123 objections were received within the notified timeframe. Many dealt with the effect of a liquor store in making the area unsafe and being in an area frequented by children as well as the harm that would be caused by increasing liquor availability in Papakura.

A petition circulated by Councillor Calum Penrose raised more than 1000 signatures but the district licensing agent questioned its validity as addresses were not supplied.

Judge Hole has reserved his decision.

Communities will have more say on liquor outlets in their area under the newly-passed Alcohol Reform Act.

But because Mr Bains applied for the liquor licence in October last year, before the law was passed, his application is not subject to the act.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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