Former Palmerston North City councillor Nikki Guy has returned to public duties as a member of the new District Licensing Committee.
Chaired by former police officer Murray Torwick, the committee has been set up under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to deal with all alcohol licensing applications in the city.
Ms Guy was elected to the city council in 2010, but after a term interrupted by the trial of Ewen Macdonald, charged and found not guilty of the murder of her brother Scott Guy, she stood down to focus on family matters.
While on the council, she became a Resource Management Act hearings commissioner, and she has been on the board of the Manawatu-Whanganui Lotteries Commission.
The new committee will be responsible for considering all applications for on-licences, off-licences, club licences, special licences, temporary authorities and managers' certificates.
Mayor Jono Naylor said as part of the changes to the alcohol laws, communities would have a greater say over licensing matters.
A local alcohol policy will be debated next year, which will influence the committee's licensing decisions.
"In recent years we've heard members of communities in Palmerston North voice their concerns around how alcohol is sold in their suburbs," said Mr Naylor.
"I'm really pleased we're doing away with a one-size fits all approach and moving towards more direct community involvement in the decision-making process."
Mr Torwick takes over the chairmanship of the committee after 25 years with the police.
He has held positions as liquor licensing sergeant, a member of the Organised Crime Unit, officer in charge of Tactical Patrol and Negotiators, as sectional sergeant and in prosecutions, and as a dog handler.
There are three other members.
Tony Brown was general manager of Massey University Students' Association for more than 15 years and he project-managed the new Massey student bar, and was a safety consultant with ACC.
Graeme Newbery recently retired as second-in-charge of the traffic support unit with the police after a 37-year career.
For 10 years he was the health and safety representative for the Police Association.
Natalie Noble is a service manager with the Department of Corrections, and has worked for 14 years as a probation officer.
She has had experience in the hearings process through participation with the Parole Board and District Court, and chairing the benefit review committee with Work and Income.
- Manawatu Standard
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