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LGNZ steps up for supermarket liquor fight

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 10:05 07/03/2014

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Local Government New Zealand is set to wade into the issue of a supermarket chain trying to influence local councils' booze policies.

President Lawrence Yule confirmed that the pressure small councils were facing from "big commercial entities" over their local alcohol policies (LAP) was on the agenda.

"The LAP issue is a live issue. We are going to see whether we can do something about it."

Mr Yule said LGNZ was "pretty grumpy" with the supermarkets and bottlestores over their approach to the policies, as it defeated the purpose of the law.

"Our big beef is that it is supposed to be a local policy. We're now entering the political dimension of what we can do to support local policies."

Appeals have been launched against councils around the country by Progressive Enterprises, Foodstuffs, and bottlestore chains like The Mill or Liquorland.

Mr Yule said the fight was unfair as "we've got big commercial entities fighting small councils." He said the first few appeals would be particularly important.

"It will set a benchmark in terms of what happens next."

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- Waikato

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