Hundreds oppose Aranui liquor store
Hundreds are expected at a meeting in Aranui next week to canvass the public mood over the opening of its fourth bottle store.
The 6pm meeting next Wednesday at the Aranui Primary School hall has been called by community leaders to gauge local feeling and help objectors put their case in writing for any district licensing committee hearing.
The Thirsty Liquor store was opened last month by Sabu Joseph, who lost his general store in the February 2011 earthquake.
Joseph obtained a temporary liquor licence issued to the store's previous tenants, but this expires in March, when he will have to apply for his own licence, which would include consultation.
More than 800 people have already signed a petition led by Aranui health professional Karen Carpenter, opposing the bottle store in Pages Rd.
Opinions expressed with the online petition do not mince words. "We don't need this crap on east side . . . we're struggling to move forward financially," one objector posted.
Section 228 of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 allows the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority to issue a temporary licence for business owners to relocate their outlets until they can move back to their existing premises.
This allows a liquor store to set up in any vacant shop, without notice, on a 90-day temporary licence, with the option to apply for a permanent licence. Carpenter, a registered nurse, says every suburb should be worried.
"It seems that a bottle store can set up anywhere on a temporary licence without public consultation, with the ability to apply within 90 days for a full licence," she said.
Joseph said this month that he would never have opened his latest store, had he known the trouble it would cause.
Aranui's four bottle stores are within 1km of each other.