A top police officer has recalled being punched in the face and head outside a popular Wellington supermarket.
Rotorua Area Commander Inspector Bruce Horne gave evidence to the Wellington City Council's District Licensing Committee today.
The committee is deciding whether to renew the liquor licence for Chaffers New World in central Wellington.
Police are questioning the renewal because of alcohol-related problems in the carpark outside the supermarket.
Sergeant Damian Rapira-Davies told the committee people congregated in the carpark to pre-load on alcohol before heading to nearby bars.
The surrounding area was also a hotspot for alcohol-fuelled crime, he said.
Mr Horne was off-duty and visiting his daughter in Wellington in April 2013.
After eating at a nearby restaurant, Mr Horn and his family were going to Chaffers New World to buy groceries for his daughter when they were confronted by a group of drunk people.
He said he brought it to the attention of the supermarket staff, who were aware of the group but had done nothing.
He told them to call the police and waited outside for them to arrive.
During an altercation with two of the group, Mr Horn said he was punched in the nose and back of the head.
He also said he saw another member of the group leaving the supermarket later with a bottle of beer.
Iain Thain, the counsel for the owners of the supermarket, said he had not seen the man purchase the beer and it might have been stolen.
Chaffers New World is trialling locking the carpark on Friday and Saturday evenings to prevent people parking and meeting there.
Police said that had been successful so far but they wanted it locked every night.
The committee is expected to decide on the supermarket's liquor licence renewal in the New Year.