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New off-licence a backward step for Clendon

New off-licence a backward step for Clendon

The Manurewa Local Board is disappointed with today’s decision by the Auckland District Licencing Committee (DLC) to approve a new off-licence operator in the Clendon community.

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton says that despite legislation changes allowing the community to object to alcohol licence applications, the DLC has interpreted the object of the act in favour of the applicant.

“The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 made it clear that the community was given the right to make objections in the alcohol licencing process and that the sole person of decisions under the Act are to reduce the harm caused by alcohol in the community. I believe that evidence submitted by the community during the hearing process proved that an additional off-licence in the Clendon area would reduce the amenity and good order of the community to a more than a minor extent.

“I believe that the DLC’s are not giving appropriate weigh to the evidence given by the community around the harm caused by alcohol, leaving the onus of proof on the community to prove to a very high standard that a new off-licence shouldn’t go ahead, even in an area where there is an over-saturation of off-licences.” Says Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton.

“The Manurewa Local Board is also disappointed with the advice given to the DLC by the Medical Officer of Health and the Council Licencing Inspector.

“The Medical Officer of Health initially opposed the application, but then withdrew after negotiating an outcome with the applicant the day before the hearing that did not address vital evidence about the social and health context of the Clendon community.” Says Ms Dalton.

Manurewa Local Board Deputy Chair Simeon Brown says that over 700 people made objections to the proposed new off-licence but their concerns were largely ignored.

“As someone who lives in Clendon, there are already too many off-licences in the Clendon area. The Clendon community is united in its views on this issue, and is disappointed by the decision by the DLC to allow this new off-licence to open.

“Under Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy Clendon is identified as a priority area, and no new off-licences would be allowed to open if this policy had been in place soon. Not only is this inconsistent with the advice given by the Council inspector, but it highlights the importance of the need for the Local Alcohol Policy to be put in place as soon as possible, so that vulnerable communities in Auckland can be protected from predatory liquor operators.” Says Mr Brown.

The Manurewa Local Board has written to the Medical Officer of Health and Council Licencing Inspection Team requesting urgent meetings to gain clarity on their interpretation of the SOLA and the position of the Manurewa community in regards to the proliferation of off licence liquor stores.

ENDS

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