1 Sep 2010

Revival of liquor licensing trusts sought

5:46 am on 1 September 2010

A community group in Auckland is seeking MPs' support for legislation enabling liquor licensing trusts to be re-established.

Such trusts have elected members and are able to control alcohol sales. They were once common but only four now exist - in Auckland, Invercargill and Gore - and establishing more would require a law change.

A group that has candidates standing in the local body elections, the Roskill Community Voice, says the free market for liquor is a failure and more power should be given to local communities.

A spokesperson, Michael Wood, says there has been an explosion in the number of off-licence liquor outlets, which have caused many cases of underage access to alcohol and anti-social behaviour in his area.

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) says, however, that there is no research showing that such trusts are better at curbing alcohol-related problems.

ALAC's chief executive, Gerard Vaughan, says areas with trusts controlling liquor sales have the same violence and injury problems with alcohol as other areas do.