The rapid growth in the number of liquor outlets has Manurewa Local Board worried.
Board chair Glenn Murphy says no one can claim to be unaware of the harm alcohol causes in the community, and watching liquor stores pop up across the area has left members concerned the potential for more harm is increasing.
“We have children walking past liquor stores that are close to schools. We have signage everywhere and applications for liquor outlets appear to show no sign of slowing.”
The board recently provided feedback on the Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill, calling for an end to appeal rights under Proposed Local Alcohol Policies.
“We support removing appeal rights under those policies and we believe local authorities should be able to create rules around the access to and availability of alcohol that are responsive to community needs.
“Local Alcohol Policies are key to achieving that, and we support amending the law to allow their adoption and implementation without unnecessary delays.”
Murphy says members supported other recommendations being included in Auckland Council’s submission, calling for a broadening of the ability to object to a licence being granted.
“Any person should be able to object to an application for a licence or its renewal, whether as an individual or a representative of a group or organisation. That would allow for greater community participation in decisions on local alcohol licences.”
The board also called for hearings to be less formal and an end to parties at the hearing being able to question other parties or witnesses.
“The current formal hearings process creates unnecessary barriers for community members to participate. In particular, the experience of being aggressively questioned by lawyers or applicant representatives can be intimidating for members of the public.”
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