27 Jan 2015

Communities fight liquor outlet numbers

12:30 pm on 27 January 2015

Communities in south Auckland are mobilising to fight against the number of places allowed to sell alcohol.

A supermarket shelf stocked with bottles of imported beer.

Photo: 123rf

The Mangere Otahuhu Local Board has been spearheading the fight, with its members appealing against decisions as individuals when the Auckland Council would not allow it to appeal as a board.

It has since won a battle to give local boards the right to oppose liquor licences.

The board's chair, Lydia Sosene, said a new alcohol policy was due to come into force this year but there was confusion about the new legislation and what to do until it comes in.

"A community has to have the right to say what is in their neighbourhood," she said.

"And if there are questions to be asked, particularly about liquor outlets, where does the community have a say, how do they get involved?"

Ms Sosene said there were more than 130 outlets with alcohol licences in her area, including restaurants, supermarkets, bottle shops and dairies, which made alcohol far too accessible.

She said the local board decided to take a stand when a shop opposite a high school applied for a liquor licence.

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