Liquor store fate decided behind closed doors

ZARYD WILSON
Last updated 12:00 07/03/2014

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The fate of a proposed bottle store in Bulls has been decided behind closed doors but the outcome will not be made public immediately.

An application made by Marton Wholesale Liquor Ltd to open a store on Bridge St in Bulls was considered by the Rangitikei district licensing committee on Wednesday. Mr Kamboj's reputation as a successful operator of two liquor stores in Marton was pushed by his representative Francis Twiss.

Mr Twiss said Mr Kamboj had too much to lose if he operated a dodgy business.

"My client is not a fly-by-nighter, he is a person who has invested substantially in his business in Marton."

Mr Twiss said Mr Kamboj believed there were about 70 Bulls residents who had to travel to Marton to buy from him.

"Small towns, if they are to remain viable, need good service," Mr Twiss said.

Mr Kamboj also made a promise not to sell legal highs from his store, which had been a concern of some residents.

The application's two objectors, Ngati Apa and Helen Cooper, both spoke at the hearing.

Mrs Cooper said Mr Kamboj appeared to have the best intentions but stood by her concerns about the over-supply of alcohol in the town. Ngati Apa representative Chris Shenton said the iwi was keen to protect the work it had done to reduce alcohol harm.

Rangitikei mayor and licensing committee member Andy Watson said a decision had been made in-committee but it would not be made public until the decision and reasoning behind it had been written up, signed off and the applicant and objectors informed of the outcome. It is expected to be made public in the next two weeks.

The application has the support of district licensing inspector Vicki Hodds, the police and MidCentral Health.

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- Manawatu Standard

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