Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Unlimited Liquor Stores in Northland Proposed

Press Release
Unlimited Liquor Stores in Northland Proposed
Draft Local Alcohol Policy Does Not Go Far Enough to Reduce Alcohol Harm

Kaikohe, Northland, New Zealand August 20, 2014

The draft Council policy allowing for an unlimited amount of bottle-stores to open in Kaikohe has little community support if any. Nor does the proposal for supermarkets to be granted off-licenses to sell alcohol from 7:00am-10:00pm, Monday – Sunday. If adopted, the policy would apply to the whole of the Far North District. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, includes the object to minimise the harm caused by excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol but it passes this responsibility on to local communities through Local Government policy.

Of the 98 written submissions to the draft Local Alcohol Policy, many called for a cap on the amount of liquor outlets and a reduction of the hours of sale and accessibility. Senior Constable Graeme Wright says, “It is well documented that any reduction in the availability (of alcohol) means a reduction in harm.” The submission from the Police calls for a cap on the amount of liquor outlets and restricting supermarkets to the sale of alcohol between 9:00am and 10:00pm, the same as proposed for the bottle stores.

Community stalwart Shaun Reilly believes that even that is not going far enough and that off-licenses for supermarkets and grocery stores should not be renewed. He says, “Grocery and supermarket trading (in alcohol) is relatively new and it is not their raison d'être and therefore not essential to their stock and trade.” He said that removing alcohol from supermarkets “would be a limiting factor on the ease of access to the younger population and will result in fewer alcohol related offences.” Shaun ran a quick petition in Kaikohe calling on Council to draft a tighter policy on the sale of alcohol and easily gained 100 signatures with little effort, in one day. Although the hearing is now closed he is considering continuing the petition because of the strong community willingness to reduce alcohol harm and the possibility of the matter going to appeal if the Council don’t get it right.

Other submissions called for tighter controls in order to reduce the flow of alcohol into the community and objected to a bottle-store being located next to the children’s playgrounds and public toilets in Kaikohe’s Library Square. Others called for mental health and addiction facilities, medical facilities and social service providers to be added to the policy as places that liquor outlets should not be in their proximity. One submitter who owns a Liquor Land store expressed concern that if there is no cap, businesses from Auckland will look to expand into Northland to open liquor stores and offer cut rate prices to compete. A proliferation of low cost liquor outlets will increase alcohol related harm in the community.

In his oral submission, Mike Shaw from the Kaikohe Church Leaders’ Forum said, “Countdown deliberately places its alcohol products near the door. It is an Australian owned company and profits at the expense of the community. At least New World displays their alcohol in a more appropriate place and is locally owned. If anyone is going to profit from selling legal drugs, let it be a local. There should be at least one store where those who are being negatively affected by alcohol can shop for food.”

The Hearings Committee also heard that the Council, as a key partner, had not done any meaningful work with the Kaikohe Social Sector Trials and the Public Health Alcohol Harm Reduction Coordinator to develop a plan to reduce alcohol harm amongst young people in Kaikohe. Mike Shaw who sits on the Advisory Group of the Social Sector Trials said, “If the Council will not engage with us, it makes a mockery of the Kaikohe Youth Action Plan. I think the consultation process should be paused, get all the partners together before this policy goes any further, consult with the community more robustly and get a better policy outcome. The reality is that the people that this policy affects the most, in terms of harm, don’t even realise that they can have a say in how it should look.”

Dave Hookway is the Health Promotion Advisor for alcohol and other drugs with the Northland District Health Board. While the District Health Board put in a submission, Dave submitted a personal submission as well. He said, “Research evidence is quite clear that alcohol related harm can be reduced through limiting both the accessibility and the availability of alcohol.” He supports capping the amount of liquor outlets, reducing the amount of trading hours for off-licenses and advertising.

The hearings are now closed and deliberations will be held on Thursday 18 September. The community is yet to see whether the Council will have the courage to develop a Local Alcohol Policy that is supported by the community or in the financial interests of the supermarket chains. Mr Reilly says, “This is the first time in history when the people who are affected by alcohol, not just the ones making the money, get a say in what we want in our communities. We need to get it right!”

End.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Easter: Have A Safe Holiday And/Or Don't Mislead On Surcharges

Commerce Commission: “Businesses that do apply a surcharge must ensure people are alerted to this before they make a decision to purchase. This gives consumers the ability to decide whether they are prepared to pay a surcharge or would rather go elsewhere,” Ms Rawlings said.

“The reason for the surcharge must be accurately described and must not mislead consumers. For example a business must not claim their surcharge on Easter Sunday is because it is a public holiday, as the only public holidays over the Easter weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Law Foundation Report: New Zealand Going Backwards On Human Rights

Greens: A report released today, Fault lines: Human Rights in New Zealand, looked at our commitment to six different international human rights treaties and found New Zealand sorely lacking in our commitment to human rights in practice to the point we’re going backwards. More>>

ALSO:

War Prep: “Gerrymandering” The Iraq Deployment

NZ First: “On Tuesday, it was ‘up to 50 troops’ training in Australia but yesterday that number grew to 100... Given pre-deployment training and now integrated training with the Australian Army, it seems to go beyond the supposed training role our men and women are meant to be tasked with undertaking.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

ALSO:

Child, Youth and Family Review:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news